Posts Tagged ‘Wilmette

06
Jan
13

1.6.13 Epiphany … and Downton Abbey …

epiphany: One friend noted that she had never thought about the wise men/three kings sleeping on their journey.  I realize that I had never thought of it either.  God rest ye merry gentlemen!

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love sent to me Twelve Drummers Drumming. The Twelve points in the Apostles’ Creed. Will comment them below (they are too big to fit in a single post).

…  Epiphany, which means “to show” or “to make known” or even “to reveal.” We remember the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing “reveal” Jesus to the world as Lord and King. Tonight is the twelfth night. This is an occasion for feasting, including the baking of a special King’s Cake as part of the festivities of Epiphany.

…  On this day we as the body of Christ are reminded of our mission to seek to as best we can to be used by God to “reveal” Jesus to the world as Lord and King. With this we end the 12 days of Christmas and celebration of the Christmas/Advent season. Next year we will start again. Hope this was a blessing to you. God bless!

via Advent.

for EPIPHANY! The three kings must have been uncomfortable in the bed, wearing their crowns–but then, that’s how the artist Gislebertus shows us that they are kings! The embroidered blanket seems to move in harmony with the face, halo, sleeves and wing of the angel in one graceful, circular movement. It is as though the angel has slipped suddenly and silently in. With one hand he points to the star which will guide them safely home. With the other he touches one of the kings, who opens his eyes. The angel, despite his broken nose, still conveys a wonderful sense of gentleness.

via Theological Horizons, centered at the Bonhoeffer House.Photo: for EPIPHANY! The three kings must have been uncomfortable in the bed, wearing their crowns--but then, that's how the artist Gislebertus shows us that they are kings! The embroidered blanket seems to move in harmony with the face, halo, sleeves and wing of the angel in one graceful, circular movement. It is as though the angel has slipped suddenly and silently in. With one hand he points to the star which will guide them safely home. With the other he touches one of the kings, who opens his eyes. The angel, despite his broken nose, still conveys a wonderful sense of gentleness.

On the twelfth day  of Christmas my true love gave to me, the excitement of another series of Downton Abbey…

Photo: On the twelfth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me, Downton Abbey Season 3…  Enjoy! 

 

via Downton Abbey

bookshelf, books, Bill Gates:  Since only one of 10 was on my list before today … I’ve got some work to do!  The Official Site of Bill Gates – The Gates Notes

 

college application process:  Al little late at chez Teague, but I thought it interesting.  How to Choose a College – NYTimes.com.

RIP, Wilmette:  Loved Lad & lassie when we lived in Wilmette.  Rest in peace, Bill Evans.

“He was fair and honest and kind,” Mimi Evans said Jan. 2. “He would keep the store open for people when they needed it. He extended sales for people who needed it, even when there was really no sale. He thought that was important.”

via Lad & Lassie owner remembered for love of family, business – Wilmette Life.

Davidson basketball.  I love a good rout … when Davidson is doing the routing.  Jake Cohen sparks Davidson in rout of UNC Greensboro | CharlotteObserver.com.

LOL, short films:  Honk if you love someone … 🙂

Check out this amazing short film — about one man’s quest to make a city smile — which premiered today. If it doesn’t make your day, I’ll give you your money back. (Full disclosure: I know the filmmaker).

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EwYLZmkUxo&feature=player_embedded]

23
Jun
11

‎6.23.2011 … Final day/night for MAD at camp as JC … I don’t think she will ever wash another dish. :)

music, kith/kin:  From Bob … “There are some voices that are simply meant to sing together. When these three sing together, it far exceeds any of them individually. I could listen to this song for hours.” YouTube – Crosby Stills Nash – Southern Cross.

Harry Potter, JK Rowling, Pottermore, media, followup:  I hope she can keep another generation enthralled (and I define that to mean a 7 year-old will persevere through a 700 page book!) … YouTube – JKRowlingAnnounces’s Channel ‏.

natural disasters, tornadoes, Louisville, kith/kin, prayers:  Why am I so touched when animals are involved …

At least five barns were damaged and horses were running loose Wednesday at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, after a powerful storm that spawned tornadoes blew through Louisville.

Officials have no immediate reports of injuries to humans or horses.

The National Weather Service says a tornado touched down near the famed track and the University of Louisville campus about 8:10 p.m. EDT. Though no races are run on Wednesdays, there was simulcasting of races elsewhere, so people were there, said track President Kevin Flanery.

via Tornado hits Louisville near Churchill Downs – Sports- NBC Sports.

Paris, Hotel de Nice, hotels:  I just loved the opening image for this small modest hotel …

 Accueil.

education, history:  I enjoyed this article and found that I agree … learning history “today involves the retention of decontextualized historical facts.” I learn best and my children learn best when we experience history and share those experiences.

We make much of bad test results and idiotic answers to civics questions from the young Americans Jay Leno stops on Los Angeles street corners. It’s fun, but it is also misleading. We are promoting what Paxton calls “the false notion that the biggest problem facing history students today involves the retention of decontextualized historical facts.”

He and Wineburg, both education professors, say we should decide what history is worth knowing and teach it well. “The thousand-page behemoths that we call textbooks violate every principle of human memory that we know of,” Wineburg said.

Emphasizing reading and devoting more school hours to comprehension of the language no matter what the topic might give us the skills to develop an interest in public affairs. Many critics say the subject of history has suffered because schools are giving more time to reading and math. Why then, asks Wineburg, were the students who were most improved on the NAEP history test in fourth grade, where the concentration on reading and math has been greatest?

Even if we haven’t remembered our country’s history so well in the last century, we have learned to appreciate it, and act accordingly. This July 4, that’s worth celebrating.

via Is knowing history so important? – Class Struggle – The Washington Post.

writing, blogging, social media, Jeff Elder:  A class … I am actually thinking about taking it …

OMG! Writing for social media??? LOL. Actually, there are many opportunities developing for writers to develop their craft on Facebook, blogs, even Twitter. The best part? You have a captive audience that is immediately engaged. As companies, nonprofits, small business and other groups launch web sites and social media sites, content is desperately needed.

via WRITING FOR SOCIAL MEDIA.

culture, kindness, Gretchen Rubin, blog posts of note:  Just the other day, I excerpted an article about what not to say to a person who is ill … and today I find this post from Gretchen Rubin about what to say/not to say to a person divorcing.  I think we all have problems with this and we are detached from our teachers … our families, our churches and we no longer learn how to handle being kind.  Isn’t that really what it is all about.

A while back, I read a New York magazine article by Katie Roiphe, The Great Escape, in which Roiphe discusses her friends’ reaction to the news of her divorce. Bottom line: she’s annoyed that they’re acting as though she’s going through some terrible tragedy, when in fact, she feels fine — if anything, she feels freed and relieved.

It’s an interesting article on many levels, but the thing that struck me was – zoikes! If I were her friend, I’m sure I’d be saying all the wrong things, too.

So what’s the right thing to say?

via The Happiness Project: Tips for talking to someone about an impending divorce: dos and don’ts.

cities, psychology, mental health:  I love big cities … maybe I am crazy!

This may come as no surprise to residents of New York City and other big urban centers: Living there can be bad for your mental health.

Now researchers have found a possible reason why. Imaging scans show that in city dwellers or people who grew up in urban areas, certain areas of the brain react more vigorously to stress. That may help explain how city life can boost the risks of schizophrenia and other mental disorders, researchers said.

Previous research has found that growing up in a big city raises the risk of schizophrenia. And there’s some evidence that city dwellers are at heightened risk for mood and anxiety disorders, although the evidence is mixed.

In any case, the volunteers scanned in the new study were healthy, and experts said that while the city-rural differences in brain activity were intriguing, the results fall short of establishing a firm tie to mental illness.

via Big city got you down? Stress study may show why  | ajc.com.

gender issues, Great Recession, workforce:  I think this is very interesting.  I wonder how this shift in workforce gender balance compares to WWII.

In part, labor experts pin this trend on a recession that disproportionately affected male-centered industries such as manufacturing and construction, but this tells only some of the story. Throughout the first decade of the new millennium, men moved toward being the minority in a number of professions they had long dominated.

This was particularly prevalent in professions requiring advanced degrees. Medical scientists, for example, who typically need a Ph.D. to work in labs or at pharmaceutical companies, experienced one of the biggest changes in gender makeup of any profession. In 2000, the majority of those who worked in the profession (54%) were men, but by last year just 46% of medical scientists were men.

Likewise, the percentage of male veterinarians declined from nearly 70% in 2000 to about 44% last year, making this the profession with the single greatest shift in the proportion of men to women, according to an analysis of the BLS data.

Much of the changing gender balance, experts argue, can be traced to the early 1970s, when more women began pursuing college degrees and full-time careers.

“Young women in elementary and middle school began to look around and realize that they were going to be in the labor force for a substantial part of their lifetimes and therefore needed to concentrate more on professions that were better investments,” said Claudia Goldin, a professor of economics at Harvard University.

via Behind the Rise of Women in the Work Force – TheStreet.

cities, lifestyles, culture, Baby Boomers, Brookwood Hills, Atlanta, Wilmette, Chicago, small house movement:  I loved growing up in a neighborhood where our home was no more than 2500 sq feet and the neighborhood was our yard.  My children’s favorite of their 3 homes is the smallest, our Wilmette home.  I think my generation, the Baby Boomers, have really gone awry on the big house status symbol.  A house does not make a home.  My daughter says she never wants a “big house.”

Places like Hilton Head, with water adjacency and nice climates, are in high demand, and land values are insane. In the case of Hilton Head, which was developed in 1970 on what had been a mosquito- and alligator-infested swampy barrier island, land value has leaped from nearly zero to now unaffordable. The first batch of houses built here might have been normal-sized, but in the ten years that I’ve been coming here on occasion, I’ve seen them replaced by new ones that are enormous. About five years ago, we rented a house right on the beach that was arena-sized. We loved being right on the ocean, so we asked the owner if we could reserve time for the next year. No, he said, it wouldn’t be possible; he was tearing the house down. Why? To build a bigger one on the same lot. We saw the finished product a few years later: it looked like a house with severe edema, swollen to bursting, built to the very edge of the property line.

My husband and I built our house in New York about five years ago, and right before we began, I fell under the spell of the small-house movement; I had dozens of Post-Its in my copy of “The Not-So-Big House” marking author Sarah Susanka’s recommendations for designing a house that was efficient and inviting without being pointlessly gigantic. It’s not really such a new idea. A few weeks ago, I stayed for a night in the Penfield House, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s an amazing place, with a jazzy sort of geometry. It’s also quite small (even though, as it happens, the owner, Louis Penfield, was six foot eight, and had actually wondered whether Wright could make a house that would work for a person his size). But the house is big enough. Everything is ingeniously designed to make use of all available space, and the floor-to-ceiling living room windows make it feel like there is only a thin skin between you and the outdoors, which gives the illusion of spaciousness. It’s a great house—that is, in the sense of the word “great” meaning an impressive accomplishment, rather than “large.”

Oversized houses, like oversized cars, seem to be a particularly American fixation. In many other countries, the land available is so limited and the cost of building so high that most people wouldn’t even consider building a Hilton Head-style jumbo. And the expense—in economic and environmental terms—of heating and cooling these places is vast. What’s funny is that these mega-mansions are so often located somewhere people go because they want to enjoy the natural environment. The house we had wanted to rent again had very little land around it when we rented it. Now, in its bulked-up state, the outdoor space is a narrow margin of sand and grass, not even wide enough to walk on.

via Free Range: The Too-Big House : The New Yorker.

reading, education, St. John’s College, Great Books Program, kith/kin:  St. John’s is a wonderful place.  My kith daughter is there and thrives.  Interesting is that she always loved to read (in contrast to this student) … but I think it is the type of education that suits a very gifted and creative mind.

As long as nobody had assigned the book, I could stick with it. I didn’t know what I was reading. I didn’t really know how to read. Reading messed with my brain in an unaccountable way. It made me happy; or something. I copied out the first paragraph of Annie Dillard’s “An American Childhood” on my bedroom’s dormer wall. The book was a present from an ace teacher, a literary evangelist in classy shoes, who also flunked me, of course, with good reason. Even to myself I was a lost cause.

Early senior year, a girl in homeroom passed me a brochure that a college had sent her. The college’s curriculum was an outrage. No electives. Not a single book in the seminar list by a living author. However, no tests. No grades, unless you asked to see them. No textbooks—I was confused. In place of an astronomy manual, you would read Copernicus. No books about Aristotle, just Aristotle. Like, you would read book-books. The Great Books, so called, though I had never heard of most of them. It was akin to taking holy orders, but the school—St. John’s College—had been secular for three hundred years. In place of praying, you read. My loneliness was toxic; the future was coleslaw, mop water; the college stood on a desert mountain slope in Santa Fe, New Mexico, fifteen hundred miles from home; I could never get into such a school; my parents couldn’t pay a dollar. And I loved this whole perverse and beautiful idea. I would scrap everything (or so I usefully believed) and go to that place and ask them to let me in. It felt like a vocation. It was a vocation.

In retrospect, I was a sad little boy and a standard-issue, shiftless, egotistical, dejected teen-ager. Everything was going to hell, and then these strangers let me come to their school and showed me how to read. All things considered, every year since has been a more intense and enigmatic joy. ♦

via Salvatore Scibona: “Where I Learned to Read” : The New Yorker.

Camp Illahee, kith/kin, end of an era:  As MAD  is ending her session as a JC, I am sad.  Nine years at Illahee have been a wonderful experience for her and something she will always cherish.  If you want a recommendation for an all girls camp, please contact me.  It has truly been a “heavenly world.”

In the Cherokee language, Illahee means “heavenly world.” This idea expresses the very best of what campers, counselors and staff create for a remarkable few weeks every summer.

For ninety years, Camp Illahee has given girls the opportunity to explore their interests, seek new adventures and forge friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.

via Camp Illahee | A Summer Camp for Girls in Brevard, North Carolina.

16
Apr
11

4.16.2011 … It was a dark and stormy morning …

design,neighborhoods, cities, urban development, New Urbanism, pocket neighborhoods, quotes, Brookwood Hills, Atlanta, CAGE, Wilmette, Chicago:  “‘Biology is destiny’, declared Sigmund Freud. But if Freud were around today, he might say “design is destiny”—especially after taking a stroll through most American cities.” … And I still think BH is the perfect neighborhood … with the CAGE in Wilmette coming in a close second.

Biology is destiny, declared Sigmund Freud.

But if Freud were around today, he might say “design is destiny”—especially after taking a stroll through most American cities.

The way we design our communities plays a huge role in how we experience our lives. Neighborhoods built without sidewalks, for instance, mean that people walk less and therefore experience fewer spontaneous encounters, which is what instills a spirit of community to a place. That’s a chief cause of the social isolation, so rampant in the modern world, that contributes to depression, distrust, and other maladies.

You don’t have to be a therapist to realize all this creates lasting psychological effects. It thwarts the connections between people that encourage us to congregate, cooperate, and work for the common good. We retreat into ever more privatized existences.

Commons can take many different forms: a group of neighbors in Oakland who tore down their backyard fences to create a commons, a block in Baltimore that turned their alley into a pubic commons, or the residential pedestrian streets found in Manhattan Beach, California, and all around Europe.

Of course, this is no startling revelation. Over the past 40 years, the shrinking sense of community across America has been widely discussed, and many proposals outlined about how to bring us back together.

One of the notable solutions being put into practice to combat this problem is New Urbanism, an architectural movement to build new communities (and revitalize existing ones) by maximizing opportunities for social exchange: public plazas, front porches, corner stores, coffee shops, neighborhood schools, narrow streets and, yes, sidewalks.

But while New Urbanism is making strides at the level of the neighborhood, we still spend most of our time at home, which today means seeing no one other than our nuclear family. How could we widen that circle just a bit, to include the good neighbors with whom we share more than a property line?

That’s an idea Seattle-area architect Ross Chapin has explored for many years, and now showcases in an inspiring and beautiful new book: Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating a Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World.

He believes that groupings of four to twelve households make an ideal community “where meaningful ‘neighborly’ relationships are fostered.” But even here, design shapes our destiny. Chapin explains that strong connections between neighbors develop most fully and organically when everyone shares some “common ground.”

That can be a semi-private square, as in the pocket neighborhoods Chapin designed in the Seattle area. In the book’s bright photographs, they look like grassy patches of paradise, where kids scamper, flowers bloom, and neighbors stop to chat.

via How to Design a Neighborhood for Happiness by Jay Walljasper.

iPhone, kith/kin:  Edward will be so happy.

Since the initial announcement of the iPhone 4, many users have been clenching onto the opportunity of purchasing the elusive white variant. Plagued by manufacturing challenges such as peeling paint and bleeding of light, Apple has apparently managed to remedy those causes. According to Bloomberg, multiple sources have gleaned information that point to a release within the coming weeks for both carriers. Stay tuned for more information

via Rumor: White iPhone 4 Coming Soon | Hypebeast.

places, great stories, Greenbriar:  One of my favorite places is the Greenbriar.  I hope it gets its 5th star back!

The story since then, of how a coal miner returned the legendary resort to near-profitability in 18 months, with record occupancy rates, a PGA golf tournament and a glitzy casino, is partly a story about daring, financial risk and business vision. But mostly, it’s a story about one man and the little postage stamp of America he calls home.

“I knew I just couldn’t mess this up,” Justice mused one day in his office, with a gesture to the hotel. “I mean, the employees know where I live.”

The Greenbrier has been everything to the rural area since the resort’s mineral springs began drawing the well-heeled and socially connected before the Civil War. It employs about 1,850 in a county of 35,000. Everybody has a family member who works there or has dinner with someone who does.

But the grand dame lost her prestigious fifth star from the Mobil Travel Guide in 2000, and not even $50 million in upgrades by the hotel’s longtime owner, CSX Corp., could keep a slow decline from turning into a death spiral.

By 2009, the place was losing nearly $1 million per week. Half of the staff, about 600 workers, was laid off. It was declared bankrupt. There were nights when as few as 40 guests roamed the vast hallways, the ballrooms, the chandeliered restaurants. West Virginia’s then-governor and now U.S. senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was so desperate to save the state’s “marquee attraction” that he called Donald Trump and asked the real-estate mogul to take it on.

Ah, no, said the Donald.

There was only one offer to keep the hotel alive. It required CSX to lend Marriott $50 million to take it over – against a sale for as much as seven years down the line that might net CSX as little as $60 million. The future was diminishment or dismemberment on the auction block.

via Reaching for the stars: W.Va. billionaire Jim Justice’s mission to restore the Greenbrier resort to glory.

art, collage, Romare  Bearden, Charlotte, public parks, public art: An artist worthy of a new park!

It’s no secret that Uptown Charlotte lacks green space, specifically a park where people can  lunch, exercise, or relax. Romare Bearden Park has been planned for over 10 years and due to delays construction hasn’t started. The park will be a full city block located at the corner of S. Church and 3rd St. right in the heart of Uptown Charlotte.  It will be a signature park for Uptown Charlotte.

via Romare Bearden Park in Uptown | CLT Blog.

Romare Bearden is recognized as one of the most creative and original visual artists of the 20th century.  His work is currently on display in New York City’s  Michael Rosenfield Gallery to celebrate the centennial of Bearden’s birth. Read a recent article from the NY Times. There is a good biographical post of Bearden’s life on the Romare Bearden Foundation website.

via Romare Bearden Park in Uptown | CLT Blog.

Romare Bearden (1911-88) spent more than 30 years striving to be a great artist, and in the early 1960s, when he took up collage in earnest, he became one. A small exhibition at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, organized to celebrate the centennial of Bearden’s birth, delivers this message with unusual clarity. It contains only 21 collages, all superb, in an intimate context that facilitates savoring their every formal twist and narrative turn, not to mention the ingenious mixing of mediums that takes them far beyond collage.

via Romare Bearden at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery – Review – NYTimes.com.

To see a slide show of his work  click here: ‘Romare Bearden Collage’ – Slide Show – NYTimes.com.

random, technology, culture:  So, have you ever stolen a towel?

THIS will not be of any relevance to honest readers of The Economist, of course, but a company in America has come up with a way to stop hotel guests from stealing linens. The radio-frequency identification chips designed by Linen Technology Tracking can be put in towels, sheets and bathrobes to keep track of stock and, more importantly, to ensure their return when light-fingered guests forget their manners.

The market for such items sounds well developed. CNN quoted William Serbin of Linen Technology Tracking saying, “Any given month, [hotels] can lose 5 to 20 percent of towels, sheets and robes.” And the economies to be made from the tags, which will work through 300 washes, also sound rather impressive. One of the three hotels using them is reportedly saving $16,000 a month by reducing the number of pool towels stolen from 4,000—an almost unbelievable 130 a day—to 750.

via Hotel linen: The towel thieves’ comeuppance | The Economist.

random, entertainment, LeBron James:  Serials, like on tv, on YouTube … I guess I knew they were out there, but I never paid any attention.  Episode One of “The LeBrons” Hits YouTube | The Sporting Rave.

technology, culture, law, csr, apps, Apple, Google:  Found this very interesting … and the responses or lack thereof by Apple and Google.

FRIENDS don’t let friends drive drunk. If they can’t take their friend’s keys away, they take their smartphone. Why? The phone may have an app that can help them avoid sobriety checkpoints.

Enlarge This Image

A handful of smartphone apps, like Buzzed, track the locations of sobriety checkpoints so drivers can reroute around them.

Last month, Senators Harry Reid, Charles E. Schumer, Frank R. Lautenberg and Tom Udall asked Apple, Google and Research In Motion, the maker of BlackBerrys, to remove apps from their online stores that help drunken drivers evade sobriety checkpoints.

On March 23, the day after the letter went out, the group said BlackBerry agreed to pull the apps and thanked the group for bringing them to its attention.

Apple and Google? Nothing.

An Apple spokeswoman said the company would not comment. A Google spokesman said the apps did not violate the company’s content policies.

via Apps for Avoiding Sobriety Checkpoints Stir Controversy – NYTimes.com.

15
Jan
11

1.15.2011 … MLK weekend … plan to travel north tomorrow … hope the snow/ice is melted!

culture, politics:  David Brooks takes a different approach to our current lack of civility.

But over the past few decades, people have lost a sense of their own sinfulness. Children are raised amid a chorus of applause. Politics has become less about institutional restraint and more about giving voters whatever they want at that second. Joe DiMaggio didn’t ostentatiously admire his own home runs, but now athletes routinely celebrate themselves as part of the self-branding process.

So, of course, you get narcissists who believe they or members of their party possess direct access to the truth. Of course you get people who prefer monologue to dialogue. Of course you get people who detest politics because it frustrates their ability to get 100 percent of what they want. Of course you get people who gravitate toward the like-minded and loathe their political opponents. They feel no need for balance and correction.

Beneath all the other things that have contributed to polarization and the loss of civility, the most important is this: The roots of modesty have been carved away.

via Tree of Failure – NYTimes.com.

culture, politics, quotes:  The David Brooks’ op-ed piece closed with this Reinhold Niebuhr quote:

In a famous passage, Reinhold Niebuhr put it best: “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. … Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.”

via Tree of Failure – NYTimes.com.

faith, prayer:  This makes me think of Jill Bolte Taylor’s A Stroke of Insight.

Prayer is the bridge between our conscious and unconscious lives. Often there is a large abyss between our thoughts, words, and actions, and the many images that emerge in our daydreams and night dreams. To pray is to connect these two sides of our lives by going to the place where God dwells. Prayer is “soul work” because our souls are those sacred centers where all is one and where God is with us in the most intimate way.

Thus, we must pray without ceasing so that we can become truly whole and holy.

via January 15, 2011 – Building Inner Bridges.

random, astrology, science:  I am a Capricorn?  No, no I am an Aquarius … a water carrier … a balancer ..

So, you’ve spent your whole life happily smug in your star sign. You’re a fish! Swimming in two directions! You’re intuitive, imaginative, unworldly! And then today’s Web is aflame with the news: You are not a Pisces. You are an Aquarius. Your star sign has been wrong your whole life. All along, you’ve been a freaking water carrier. This is not cool.

According to Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, cool or not, it’s written in the stars. Star signs were created some 2,000 years ago by tracking where the sun was in the sky each month. However, the moon’s gravitational pull has slowly moved the Earth in its axis, creating about a one-month bump in the stars’ alignment, reports the Minnesota Star Tribune. Now, during what we think as the month of Pisces, the sun is actually in the sign of Aries.

The new dates would therefore be:

Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16

Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11

Pisces: March 11-April 18

Aries: April 18-May 13

Taurus: May 13-June 21

Gemini: June 21-July 20

Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10

Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16

Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30

Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23

Scorpio: Nov. 23-Dec. 17

Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20

via BlogPost – New Zodiac sign dates: Don’t switch horoscopes yet.

college, college application process, elite schools:

Harvard, has received  nearly 35,000 applications from high school seniors seeking admission to the next freshman class — an increase of nearly 15 percent over last year and more than 50 percent since four years ago, according to statistics released by Harvard today.

If last year’s admissions process is any guide, fewer than 10 percent will be offered admission.

What is fueling this increase, which is being mirrored, yet again, at other highly selective private colleges? In Harvard’s case, at least part of the answer surely lies in the sweeteners it has added to its financial aid packages in recent years.

As many other colleges, private and public, are struggling to meet demand for scholarships, Harvard requires “no contribution from families with annual incomes below $60,000,” according to today’s release, “and asks, on average, no more than 10 percent of income from families with typical assets who make up to $180,000.”

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

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, NASA, politics:  Unique relationship between our space program and our federal government … “it marked Giffords as the only lawmaker ever to watch a spouse launched into space.”

NASA’s selection Thursday of a backup commander for astronaut Mark Kelly served as a reminder that the shooting in Tucson affected another community nearly as much as Capitol Hill — the one affiliated with America’s manned space programs.

For critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and Kelly had become the first couple of space exploration, a unique, high-profile team that took to the national stage as some of the most critical decisions in the history of U.S. human spaceflight were on the agenda.

The partnership between the lawmaker and the space shuttle commander, who had been scheduled to lead a flight in April, added a glamorous sheen to a venture whose luster had dimmed. But more important, the relationship between the two had significant political and policy implications as the nation undertook its first major debate over manned spaceflight since the end of the Apollo program that sent Americans to the moon.

The marriage between Giffords, a rising political star, and Kelly, a veteran of three space shuttle missions and a decorated Navy combat pilot, took place just months after she was first sworn in as a House member in 2007, and it marked Giffords as the only lawmaker ever to watch a spouse launched into space.

“It gave her an insider’s view of the space program and gave her an opportunity to really know a different side of the space program than any of us ever had an opportunity to know,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), a close friend of Giffords and Kelly, told POLITICO on Tuesday.

via The astronaut by her side – Kasie Hunt – POLITICO.com.

pirates, Blackbeard, kith/kin:  New discoveries … and by the way, we used to tease our son Edward Teague that he was descended from Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard)!

But archaeologists now suspect theyve found one more clue behind the pirates menace: what could very well be Blackbeards sword, or at least part of it. National Geographic published photos released by a team that has for over a decade been excavating the Queen Annes Revenge, which was Blackbeards flagship until it ran aground in an inlet off the coast of North Carolina in 1718. These include fragments of a gilded hilt and pommel, possibly of French design Blackbeards ship was a retrofitted French merchant vessel. The shipwreck has been worked on since 1997.

via Blackbeard’s Sword, Found! Archaeologists Discover Pirate Treasure Off North Carolina Coast – TIME NewsFeed.

restaurants, farm to table, Charlotte, Halcyon:  Had lunch at Halcyon on 1/14 … excellent …  will go again!

2010 turned out, with a rush in the last months, to be a decent new-restaurant year – as unlikely a prospect as that seemed a year ago. Here are the ones that opened that year that I found best, in no particular order, along with a list of the ones I’m most excited about that are slated to open in 2011.

1. Halcyon. A craft- (rather than art-) inspired spot in the new Mint Museum uptown, it has dubbed its style “Farm House Chic” and emphasizes a seasonal menu relying on area products. Chef Marc Jacksina continues to tinker with the menus; the spot opened at Thanksgiving. But the look is breathtaking, and to offer cold pan duck? It’s a great start.

via Charlotte’s best new restaurants of 2010 – CharlotteObserver.com.

restaurants, Charlotte, The Penguin, The Diamond:

Now, for 2011, I’m anticipating:

The much-rumored filling of several available spaces, including (but hardly limited to) uptown and the north, plus bursts of activity in south Charlotte. For example, if leases go through, look for:

Delta’s to go into the former G.W. Fins space on North Tryon Street, opening in June with a live-music supper club kind of vibe (R&B and jazz) and a menu duplicating the New Jersey original, with Cajun and other Southern fare.

AZN Restaurant, spun from a Florida original by the folks who also have Silk in Atlanta, to go into a new spot in Piedmont Town Center; it’s a Chinese-Japanese-Thai-Korean-Vietnamese-sushi concept.

The Diamond. This home cooking spot in Plaza Midwood, the revamping of a Charlotte classic, is slated to open this month, I’m told. It might. I – along with a legion of others, if one looks at Facebook – am ready!

And, it follows logically, the Penguin: It will be fascinating to see what happens when this storied landmark burger-etc. place reopens under new management, as it is slated to do Saturday. Those who followed the neighborhood-classic throwdown know that emotions run high about these last two places and that loyalties are at stake, not just foodstuffs.

Barbecue from longtime Charlotte restaurateur Frank Scibelli in Plaza Midwood – and though chef Jim Noble has his hands full between his Rooster’s and King’s Kitchen, I’m going to continue to keep an eye on his love of barbecue and where that might go.

via Charlotte’s best new restaurants of 2010 – CharlotteObserver.com.

The President, politics, culture, kudos:  Well done, Mr. President.

I begin grouchily to underscore the sincerity of the praise that follows. About a third of the way through, the speech took on real meaning and momentum, and by the end it was very good, maybe great. The speech had a proper height. It was large-spirited and dealt with big things. It was adroit and without rancor. The president didn’t mourn, he inspirited.

The heart of Mr. Obama’s speech asked a question. The lives of those who died, and the actions of the heroes of the day, pose a challenge. What is required of us now, how do we honor them?

Here, deftly, he addressed the destructive media debate that followed the tragedy. But he approached the subject with compassion and sympathy. It is human nature to try to explain things to ourselves, to “try and impose some order on the chaos,” to say this happened because of that. And so we debate, and consider causes and motivations. Much of this is good, but not all. “At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized,” we are too eager to lay to blame “at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do.” It is important that we talk to each other “in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.” Scripture tells us “that there is evil in the world.” We don’t know what triggered the attack, but “what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other.”

Lack of civility did not cause this tragedy, but “only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation in a way that would make [the victims] proud.”

In saying this, the president took the air out of all the accusations and counter accusations. By the end of the speech they were yesterday’s story.

via Obama Rises to the Challenge – WSJ.com.

followup, weather, Wilmette, Chicago: I had forgotten about the post snow icy crust … Reminds me of my Chicago days!

travel, adventure, South Africa, new terms, kloofing:  Since John never reads this I do not have to fear him seeing this … otherwise I think I might be doing it for my 30th!  Actually it looks kinda fun.

A kloof, in the South African language of Afrikaans, is a canyon. And kloofing is the sport of going up and down them, usually down. Attached to a rope and climbing harness, kloofers may walk backwards off a 150-foot cliff; straddle a rush of whitewater down a mossy embankment; or leap into chilly pools fed by waterfalls.

My guide into the world of kloofing was Teuns Kok, a 40-year-old professional transport planner. Mr. Kok specializes in making urban walkways safe and accessible for school children and the handicapped. The same principle applies when he goes kloofing in South Africa’s rugged mountains.

In 2001, Mr. Kok and a few friends pioneered a route down Ostrich Kloof, outside the South African wine-making capital of Stellenbosch, where he lives. He has since guided select groups of friends and visitors down the kloof’s hidden waterfalls and shady gullies—but they must be willing to entrust their lives to his ropes, makeshift anchor points and route planning.

The extreme sport of kloofing involves climbing up mountains and, typically, leaning back over the abyss and rappelling back down into steep canyons, or “kloofs,” with lots of water.

In other countries, including the U.S., kloofing is known as “canyoneering.” But South Africa’s sandstone domes and verdant scrubland give the sport its own natural draws. It now has an avid following.

via Kloofing: Between a Rock and a Waterfall – WSJ.com.

13
Jan
11

1.13.2011 … icy crust covers Charlotte … but other than that things are pretty much back to normal …

snow dance/snow ritual, Wilmette, followup:  So I asked Molly what the snow ritual was in Wilmette … where it obviously works … this is what she said: 1. snow dance outside, 2. flush ice down the toilet, 3. spoon under your pillow and 4. pjs worn inside out.  And found this … cute … YouTube – Make It Snow Dance.

random, culture, youtube:  So is the goal now to have your wedding video a viral video on YouTube? Flash-Mob Wedding Wins the Internet’s Heart – TIME NewsFeed.

statistics:  At our dinner table the other night were talking about psychology and my husband said that all it is is statistics … so i found this debate very interesting.  ESP Report Sets Off Debate on Data Analysis – NYTimes.com.

Davidson, Dr. Kuykendall, changes:  Approximately 13 years between his tenures as president.  I wonder what other changes he will notice.  Again, welcome back!

“I never turned on the computer during my first presidency. It was just a piece of furniture in my office,” he told The Observer. “I could not be an adequate adult human being in this particular environment if I didn’t know how to deal with technology.”

via In the news: Interview with ‘inspiring, eloquent’ Kuykendall | DavidsonNews.net.

students, Davidson, history: Those wild Davidson students from 1896 made history. 🙂

Dr. Henry Louis Smith, the students’ physics professor, had just caught wind of the discovery of x-rays by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen. Smith realized that his lab had the equipment necessary to reproduce Roentgen’s experiments and eagerly planned on doing so. But three of his inquisitive pupils beat him to the punch.

On January 12, 1896, 115 years ago to the day, Oben Hardin, Pender Porter, and Osmond L. Barringer collected up various small objects—”a cadaver finger (taken from the North Carolina Medical College) stuck with two pins and wearing a ring (borrowed from Barringer’s girlfriend); a rubber covered magnifying glass; a pill box containing two 22 cartridges, one pin, two rings, and six Strychnine pills (commonly used by students at that time to stay awake during finals); and an egg that been emptied and had a button placed inside,” according to the Davidson Encyclopedia—and made their way to campus. After paying off a janitor and gaining access to the lab, they spent three hours exposing the objects to the x-ray, producing the image seen above. It’s thought to be one of the very first, if not the first, x-ray photographs produced in America.

via How Three College Kids Illegally Captured the Nation’s First X-Ray Photograph.

02
Oct
10

10.2.2010 … my mama had a fabulous time at Henry’s in Acworth GA … I’m adding it to my list …

question, random: How do you spell mama? My brother and I don’t spell it the same way and we have the same mom … 🙂 … And the answer is … most spell it “m-a-m-a” … I win Edward!

Eleanor Winborne Murray:  Mama

Claudia Folts: I spell it “mama”. I always think of the Museum of Modern Art when I see it spelled “moma”.

Caryn Hoskins Overbey: My sister and I don’t even call our mom the same thing. I call her Mother and my sister calls her Momma. One daughter calls me Mom and the other Momma. Neither my sister or daughter spell it mama. I have no idea why!

Catherine Hemenway Siewick: M-A-M-A

Tim Bode: for the definitive answer, reference the lyrics of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” …Thanks, Tim … ‎”Mama, I just killed a man,” (BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Lyrics – QUEEN, http://www.elyrics.net) Continue reading ‘10.2.2010 … my mama had a fabulous time at Henry’s in Acworth GA … I’m adding it to my list …’

28
Sep
10

‎9.28.2010 … BSF Isaiah today … then JBT back from Kuwait …

architecture, Chicago:  Architecture makes a difference.  Wouldn’t you like to go to this school?

The bright new charter high school rises next to the scene of a senseless inner-city killing — a 17-year-old girl, chatting with a friend on her cell phone, shot dead in 2008 after two men argued on a CTA bus.

The $20 million school is a legacy of the late Gary Comer, the innovative founder of the Lands’ End clothing empire, who grew up in the Grand Crossing neighborhood and never forgot it.

Like a neighboring youth center that also bears Comer’s name, the school is a beacon of optimism for an area that needs it.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

GOP Contract, random, graphic: Love the illustration …

The long awaited sequel to Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract On America,” is out. Here are cliff notes. A summary of sorts inspired by Cliff Hillegrass’ original, but written for the lemmings expected to be led and fall from the cliff.

via Pledge to America: the cliff notes by Lee Leslie | LikeTheDew.com.

education:

President Barack Obama said Monday that he would like to extend the school year and raise teacher pay to help improve the U.S. education system.

Mr. Obama, in an interview on NBC’s “Today,” said students around the world usually go to school for a month longer each year than children in the U.S. Such a difference, he said, gives those students an advantage and gives their countries an economic edge.

via Obama Advocates Longer School Year, Higher Teacher Pay – WSJ.com.

education:  Agree.

The U.S. is endangering the American dream by failing to educate its children.

Arianna appeared on MSNBC Monday to discuss the issues facing the nation’s deteriorating educational system and explained why learning is key to the American middle class–the focus of her new book “Third World America.”

“Education has always been the springboard to the middle class,” Arianna said. “The ability to learn, to be able to get a good job, was at the heart of the upward mobility that was the essence of the American dream. And that’s no longer the case.”

Arianna went on to explain that that a third of students are not graduating from high school.

Host Andrea Mitchell echoed Arianna’s concern and cited more disturbing figures. In Korea, Finland, and Singapore 100% of teachers come from the top third of university graduates. In the United states, just 23% come from the top third.

Despite the negative statistics, Arianna told Mitchell that she is hopeful the country can turn around its schools.

“There seems to be a tipping point… this is a ‘beyond left or right’ issue. And you have liberals and conservatives agreeing that we need to bring a sense of urgency to what’s happening. We have the media really engaged…. We have this amazing movie ‘Waiting For Superman’ that captures the fact… that getting a good education has become a game of chance.”

via HuffPost TV: Arianna: ‘Getting A Good Education Has Become A Game Of Chance’ (VIDEO).

business, travel, Charlotte:  Hooray for Charlotte!

Southwest Airlines Co. gets more exposure to existing markets like New York and Boston, and it can get into smaller markets it doesn’t already serve.

AirTran operates daily flights from Charlotte Douglas International Airport to a number of markets, but it is unclear whether Southwest will continue that operation. In recent years, some passengers regularly have driven from Charlotte to the Raleigh area, which is served by Southwest, so they can take advantage of that company’s lower fares.

via Southwest buys AirTran; Charlotte impact? – CharlotteObserver.com.

weather:  113 in September in LA!

Los Angeles, California,  has broken the all-time record high temperature of  112F with a temperature of 113F at 12:15pm PDT.  Their temperature could rise more through the afternoon.

via Los Angeles breaks record high temperature – This Just In – CNN.com Blogs.

education, followup:  Here is a public school that does pretty well with this test … still only 4%.  40 New Trier High School seniors named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists — Wilmette & Kenilworth news, photos and events — TribLocal.com.

RIP, random:

A wealthy British businessman who owns the company that makes the two-wheeled Segway has been found dead in a river in northern England after apparently falling off a cliff on one of the vehicles, police said Monday.

Police in West Yorkshire said Monday that James Heselden and a Segway were found in the River Wharfe near Boston Spa, in northern England. Police said a member of the public had reported seeing a man fall over a 30-foot (9-meter) drop into the river on Sunday. (AP Photo/Andy Paraskos/Hesco/PA Wire)

The body of 62-year-old James Heselden and a Segway personal transporter were found in the River Wharfe and he was prounced dead at the scene, West Yorkshire Police said.

Police said a witness had reported seeing a man fall Sunday over a 30-foot (9-meter) drop into the river near Boston Spa, 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of London.

via Segway owner dies after falling off river cliff  | ajc.com.

CU, boys, green:  I think this is a great idea … CU students rent cars while helping the environment | CU Independent.

Wilmette, restaurants:  Enjoy! Five Guys looking to open in Wilmette — Wilmette & Kenilworth news, photos and events — TribLocal.com.

literature:  I thought this was both interesting and funny.  I personally love GWTW, but do not think it ranks with the ones he wants to omit.

News item from the Boston Globe:

“…Universities are full of trendy English professors who don’t read Shakespeare for the beauty of the poetry or its peerless insights into human nature. The point is to uncover the oppression that’s supposed to define Western culture: the racism, ‘patriarchy,’ and imperialism that must lurk beneath the surface of everything written by those ‘dead white males.’ (The latest book from University of Pennsylvania professor emerita Phyllis Rackin, for example, investigates how ‘Macbeth’ contributed to the ‘domestication of women.’)”

I don’t believe for an instant that the Western literary canon should be changed to accommodate social and political agendas. Aesthetics shaped the canon in the beginning and should continue to shape it. Besides, art pressed into the service of a cause becomes propaganda, the aims of which are very different from those of art.

Yes, the canon’s shapers were mainly men, mainly white, mainly European, and, like all men, not without bias. But nowhere have I seen evidence that any work was admitted to the canon for any reason except that it was believed to be an outstanding work of serious intent.

But this should not be construed to mean that the Western canon is sacrosanct. It isn’t, nor should it be. Time changes everything, including the pertinence of art, and esthetic distance can reveal that a work’s admission to the canon might have been hasty or at the very least is ripe for review. Some inferior works also sneaked into the canon as companions of superior relatives. Any critic who believes, for instance, that all of Dickens’ novels are co-equal in quality simply hasn’t been paying attention.

Anyhow, of esteemed works in general, here are some nominations, purely random, for either demotion in the ranks or outright discharge from the canon (no pun).

via Great books — or not so great? by Robert Lamb | LikeTheDew.com.

news, random, LOL:

Wichita police are looking for thieves that stole a Little Debbie van and littered a road with empty snack cake boxes.

Police say the truck was stolen around 4 o’clock this morning from the the Walmart at Pawnee and Broadway.

The truck was later found at the canal route and Douglas St. in the canal with a trail of empty snack cake boxes littering the road to the south.

Police are still looking for the suspects. The van was returned to its owner.

via Thieves with snack attack steal Little Debbie van – Local news – Wichita, KS – News – msnbc.com.

tv, movies:  I am not a watcher of Oprah’s show … but I love the Sound of Music … so maybe I will watch …

Oprah’s ‘Sound of Music’: The hills are alive with the sound of…Oprah? Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is set to reunite the stars of the film “The Sound of Music.” The entire cast, which includes Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, will visit the “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Oct. 29. While Andrews is not expected to sing, the Von Trapp Children, a group that features members of the real family portrayed in the musical, will perform on the program. [AP]

via Wyclef Hospitalized; Katy Perry on ‘The Simpsons’; Oprah Reunites ‘Sound of Music’ Cast – Speakeasy – WSJ.

archeology, anthropology, history, Jack: I love seeing what Jack can do with his major!

In addition to work on the Southeast United States and Caribbean, Dawdy has produced insightful studies of New Orleans from its establishment as a French colony to the present day. In Building the Devil’s Empire: French Colonial New Orleans (2008), she integrates the intellectual life of the community with the story of the adventurers, entrepreneurs, and smugglers who resisted governance, providing a markedly expanded narrative of the colonial dynamics and structure of the region. Her recent fieldwork in New Orleans, concentrating on the former site of the Rising Sun Hotel and St. Antoine’s Garden behind St. Louis Cathedral, is the largest archaeological excavation undertaken to date in the French Quarter. These two sites are an important part of her current project: an exploration of the connections between aesthetics and social life. Complementing her academic work, Dawdy has also been a vocal advocate for historical preservation.

via Shannon Lee Dawdy – MacArthur Foundation.

travel, Swaziland, politics, history:  One of the more interesting 24 hours in my life was spent here …

RENOWNED as Africa’s last absolute monarchy, Swaziland has been in a state of emergency for the past 37 years. Political parties are banned, critics are systematically arrested and beaten up by police and freedom of expression is severely curtailed. Ministers, judges and local chiefs are all appointed by the king, Mswati III. While he and his 13 wives flaunt their opulence, most of his 1.2m subjects struggle to survive. More than one in four is HIV positive—the highest infection rate in the world.

Yet the pretty little mountainous kingdom, locked into the north-east corner of South Africa, is better known for its annual traditional reed dance, where bare-breasted virgins parade their beauty before their toga-clad king, than for its human-rights abuses. There may be the odd suspicious death in custody, but there have been no mass killings, as in Myanmar or Sudan. It does not have any big deposits of gold, diamonds or oil to covet; most of its wealth comes from sugar cane. So why should anyone care?

via The sorry state of Swaziland: A boiling pot | The Economist.

education: Interesting…

Public education in our cities runs the gamut from world class to depressingly lacking. What is clear across the spectrum is that educating our youth is an enormous cost, often one too great to be shouldered by a city alone. Here’s how the largest school districts in the country are funded and how they spend that money.

via Education 101 – Cities – GOOD.

movies, fashion: Work clothes need some improvement.  So i hope so …

The fashion world, however, is already seeking to capitalize on Gordon Gekko’s new look, the Wall Street Journal reports. The original movie popularized contrast-collar shirts, suspenders and French cuffs. The new movie features handmade shoes, tailored vests, clear eyeglass frames, pocket-watch chains and custom suits.

via New ‘Wall Street’ Movie May Do More to Help Wardrobes than Harm Reputations – News – ABA Journal.

science:  Isn’t it great when modern technology proves a theory.

In everyday life, these time fluctuations are tiny. But now, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colo., have measured them with unprecedented accuracy.

James Chin-Wen Chou and his colleagues used a pair of atomic clocks to demonstrate the relativistic changes. These clocks are based on the vibrations of an aluminum atom that’s missing an electron. In one experiment, one of the clocks was 33 centimeters above the other. The higher clock experienced a slightly smaller tug of gravity, and ticked more slowly than the lower clock. In another experiment, one of the clocks moved at approximately 20 miles an hour compared with the other.

via Researchers Produce Data Demonstrating Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity : NPR.




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