Posts Tagged ‘workforce

11
Nov
13

11.11.13 … “Lord, teach me to be grateful, for others, and to You. Uncover all I have not noticed, and nurture in me a thankful heart.” …

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Thansgivukkah, holiday mashup: “Home cooks have been doing that for centuries, and this year’s supercollider is an invitation to make something new that lasts.”

But on Nov. 28, there will be three candles ready in the menorah by the time the turkey leaves the wood fire. (Hanukkah starts on Wednesday at sundown, so depending on how long this meal lasts, we’ll probably be lighting candles for the second night around the time the pie comes out.)

The challenge this year is to serve a meal that honors our traditions, makes room for fresh influences from our grown sons (both home cooks) and blends the best of both holiday menus into one epic feast. For help, we turned to the Dining section’s own Melissa Clark, who picked out the most promising notes in our family cookbooks and developed recipe combinations that pulled the meal together.

She suggested we add fresh horseradish to the matzo balls, a perfect nod to David’s grandfather, who liked to carve bits tableside from a huge, gnarly root. So festive. It was also Melissa’s idea to serve our Hanukkah brisket next to the turkey, as if she knew that David’s grandmother always served two kinds of meat at every holiday, a subconscious demonstration of abundance by a Holocaust survivor who understood privation.

We won’t be the only family crowding into the kitchen this year, mixing holiday flavors and inventing new customs on our feet. Home cooks have been doing that for centuries, and this year’s supercollider is an invitation to make something new that lasts. But not cranberry sauce with raisins.

via When Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Collide – NYTimes.com.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Audible, bookshelf: So I listened to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry on Audible and I really enjoyed it.  But I quickly realized that I needed a map.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

NANJING China, The Sifang Project, architecture, an architectural fantasy land in China:  This is really fascinating on many levels.

Wall Street Journal ‏@WSJ 39m

Take a multimedia trip to an architectural fantasy land in China: http://on.wsj.com/17dFayp

NANJING, China—China is famous for its warp speed of construction. The Sifang project near this ancient capital in southern China is a study in the opposite.

The construction of 24 uniquely designed buildings by various architects on 115 acres of land has been slow and extremely deliberate, even though 1 billion yuan (US$164 million) has been spent to date. So deliberate, in fact, that when this design fantasyland opens to visitors Saturday, only 11 of those 24 structures will be complete—a decade after the architects submitted their designs.

Scaffolding covers the recreation center, designed by late Italian architect Ettore Sottsass. Only foundations have been laid for a house by 2010 Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese duo Sanaa. Even some of the houses that are “finished” still appear to be missing details like electrical outlets.

Sifang Museum.

ENMESHED IN MID-AIR: THE NANJING SIFANG ART MUSEUM | 艺术界 LEAP.

China’s wealthy patrons like Mr. Lu’s family are underwriting a major cultural boom, spending billions of yuan on grand buildings to showcase impressive collections of art, antiques and other cultural rarities. Their largesse and ambitions echo American industrialists who sponsored the arts in the early years of the 20th century… — online.wsj.com

Recently in The Wall Street Journal, reporter Jason Chow interviewed real-estate developer Lu Jun and his son Lu Xun who finally opened the Sifang Art Museum for its first exhibition this past weekend in Nanjing, China after 10 years of construction.

Spearheaded by Lu Jun and curated by architects Liu Jiakun and Arato Isozaki, the $164 million project consists of 11 mixed-use buildings designed by an international mix of well-known architects including Wang Shu, SANAA, David Adjaye, Mathias Klotz, Steven Holl, and artist Ai Weiwei (the only non-architect). Three more buildings are expected to be completed within the next year.

During a rising cultural trend of private museums owned by China\’s wealthiest patrons, Lu Jun, his son, and some of the museum’s architects describe the doubts, challenges, and hopes in the construction and operation of the ambitious project.

via Sifang Art Museum – designed by 22 architects including Wang Shu, SANAA, Adjaye, Holl – opens its first exhibition | News | Archinect.

“Without money from the property development, how do you support the art? It’s unfair to judge us that way,” Mr. Lu said. “We’re not flipping art.”

U.K. art consultant Philip Dodd, who has organized private-museum forums in recent years to gather China’s budding patrons, says art museums have long been tied to the large egos and profits of businessmen, pointing to Andrew Mellon, the U.S. financier who died in 1937 and whose art collection was donated to establish the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

“I wouldn’t over-moralize this,” Mr. Dodd says. “Museums are often set up with sugar money.”

via Nanjing’s New Sifang Art Museum Illustrates China’s Cultural Boom – WSJ.com.

U.S. Postal Service,  Amazon packages , Sunday delivery,  latimes.com:  Interesting.  I’d like to see the numbers.

Giant online retailer Amazon.com Inc. is turning up the heat on rivals this holiday season and beyond under a new deal with the U.S. Postal Service for delivering packages on Sundays.

Starting this week, the postal service will bring Amazon packages on Sundays to shoppers’ doors in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas at no extra charge. Next year, it plans to roll out year-round Sunday delivery to Dallas, New Orleans, Phoenix and other cities.

Getting packages on Sundays normally is expensive for customers. United Parcel Service Inc. doesn\’t deliver on Sundays, according to a spokeswoman. And FedEx Corp. said Sunday \”is not a regular delivery day,\” though limited options are available.

The deal could be a boon for the postal service, which has been struggling with mounting financial losses and has been pushing to limit general letter mail delivery to five days a week.

Spokeswoman Sue Brennan said that letter mail volume is declining “so extremely,” yet package volume is “increasing in double-digit percentages.”

The postal service’s Sunday package delivery business has been very small, but the arrangement with Amazon for two of the retailer’s larger markets, Los Angeles and New York, should boost work considerably.

To pull off Sunday delivery for Amazon, the postal service plans to use its flexible scheduling of employees, Brennan said. It doesn’t plan to add employees, she said.

Members of Amazon’s Prime program have free two-day shipping and, under the new deal, can order items Friday and receive them Sunday. Customers without Prime will pay the standard shipping costs associated with business day delivery.

via U.S. Postal Service to deliver Amazon packages on Sundays – latimes.com.

NASA, astronauts, Overview Effect:

Who would have thought traveling to outer space could be such a profound experience? OK, probably everybody, but these former astronauts really articulate it in a way that was just a little mind-blowing.

via Some Strange Things Are Happening To Astronauts Returning To Earth.

workforce, women in the workforce:

Why were women opting out, particularly the ones who looked like they should have the highest potential?”

via Mandy O’Neill: Why Do Highly Capable Women Not Always Realize Their Workforce Potential? | Stanford Graduate School of Business.

meditation, The Noble Eightfold Pat, bookshelf:  So I attended a intro session on meditation and this short book was recommended.

The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi

via The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering.

labyrinths, Camus quote:

“Life’s work is nothing but the slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence one’s heart first opened.” ~ Albert Camus

On a recent trip to Serenbe, one of my favorite retreat spots in the Atlanta area, I walked the labyrinth. I remember feeling a paradoxical sense of peace and power, when I finally surrendered my need to ‘get’ some earth shattering insights.

Labyrinths are truly sacred places. The design itself is ancient, some say more than 4,000 years old. It combines the sacred geometry of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path.

The ritual of walking the labyrinth silences the intellect and awakens your deep, intuitive nature. Walking a labyrinth is a metaphor for life’s journey, you will often discover parallels between your ‘walk’ and how you move about in the world.  As you navigate this sacred space, it awakens and activates your own sacred blueprint.

The labyrinth invokes your intuition, creativity, and imagination.  It is an invitation to adventure to the core of your Essence and come back to the world with an expanded experience of who you are.

via Walk the Labyrinth: Awaken Your Sacred Pattern, Activate Your Sacred Path – ADELA RUBIO.

Black Friday, Holiday shopping, Thanksgiving:  I would love to say I would do this, but even in the 70s I spent thanksgiving shopping. We would take all our holiday catalogs to Pineview and turn down the corners all afternoon. So, since I already shop on-line on Thanksgiving, I guess I can’t begrudge the brick and mortar stores for trying to get me back.  Well, I can, actually.

J.C. Penney now joining Macy’s and other stores that plan to open on Thanksgiving Day, prompting this pledge to circulate. No way do I want to shop that day – but maybe a lot of people will. What’s your position on this?

Add Macy’s to the list of retailers kicking off “Black Friday” and Thanksgiving Thursday.

Macy’s will open the doors at most of its 800 namesake department stores, at 8 p.m. on Nov. 28. The company said the shift was voluntary for workers and that the move was “consistent with what many rivals are doing.

Traditionally, retailers have waited until Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving, to start their end-of-the-year push for sales.

U.S. retailers have extended their hours on Black Friday, so named because it’s when most stroes go into the black, in recent years to get a jump on the holiday season sales.

via Macy’s latest retailer to open holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving – chicagotribune.com.

Georgia Bulldogs , 2012 College Football Team Valuations, Forbes, followup: Given my recent excerpt from an article on the highest paid officials in each state (11.4.13 … “When you raise a generation to believe that throwing a ball is more important than fulfilling their civic duty to make informed decisions, you allow charlatans to sell their lies to the public unchallenged.” … ), I thought this interesting.

5. Georgia Bulldogs

Current Value: $99 million

One-Year Change in Value: 10%

Football Revenue: $75 million

Football Profit: $52 million

Conference: SEC

Head Coach: Mark Richt

Georgia’s value to the SEC increased thanks to playing in the Outback Bowl, which brought $3.5 million in bowl revenue into the conference. The Bulldogs may see another bump in revenue next year thanks to hosting the Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate rivalry game against Georgia Tech and playing in the SEC Championship this season.

via Georgia Bulldogs – In Photos: 2012 College Football Team Valuations – Forbes.

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.




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