Posts Tagged ‘worship

10
Feb
13

2.10.13 … in this world, but not of this world …

FPC, worship, sermon Transfiguration, epiphany,  labyrinth walks, “Solvitur ambulando” – it is solved by walking, Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth:  IMG_5491As I left FPC today (did anyone else notice the tulip trees blooming!), I headed to one of my favorite labyrinths.  I had a heavy heart, despite a very excellent sermon by Kirk Hall about  Transfiguration entitled,  “A Glimpse of Glory.”  I was also quite struck by the affirmation of faith …

We believe Christ gives us and demands of us lives in pilgrimage toward God’s kingdom. Like Christ we may enjoy on our journey all that sustains life and makes it pleasant and beautiful. No more than Christ are we spared the darkness, ambiguity, and threat of life in the world. We are in the world, but not of the world. Our confidence and hope for ourselves and other people do not rest in the powers and achievements of this world, but in the coming and hidden presence of God’s kingdom. Christ calls each of us to a life appropriate to that kingdom: to serve as he has served us; to take up our cross, risking the consequences of faithful discipleship; to walk by faith, not by sight, to hope for what we have not seen. (Declaration of Faith, 9.5) http://www.firstpres-charlotte.org/bulletins/bulletin.pdf

But even my drive was uplifting …

 IMG_5492

IMG_5495  IMG_5493 IMG_5494 

And the walk was wonderful.  I came away feeling much better …

IMG_5496

IMG_5505  IMG_5503 IMG_5504

IMG_5502

IMG_5499 IMG_5500  IMG_5497

IMG_5498

 IMG_5506

I love the quote of Ms. Alexander painted at the “foot” of the labyrinth.

“With patience persistence and prayer, a God-filled spirit can bring a seed to fruit.” – Almetto Howie Alexander 2011

And so this afternoon, I  did a little research on the labyrinth …

.Labyrinth

Activities are often thought of as group-oriented, competitive sports, skill-oriented, performance or even pressure. The labyrinth provides a balancing activity, one which may best be pursued alone, in one’s own time of need, searching, or desire for peace and focus. Experiencing the solace of journey provided by a labyrinth brings peace, healing, and enlightenment — mental health — appropriate for people of any age. The labyrinth itself is a beautiful monument to heritage and history. The spiritual and actual presence of the labyrinth will fulfill the dreams of its founder — a person who spent her life working for her community in education and civil rights — and will offer the benefits and reminders of this continuing journey to the community’s next generations.

via Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth: The Labyrinth.

The study, design and installation of labyrinths has become an essential part of my work as an artist. From our research, we believe this may be the first Afro-Centric Labyrinth in the United States. This particular project has all the potential to become a great source of healing and education within the smaller community of Washington Heights as it interacts with the larger community of Charlotte. The unique design pays homage to the nearly lost origins of the labyrinth, and offers each individual the opportunity to metaphorically walk their life’s journey along a pattern that echoes the journey and philosophy of Mrs. Alexander.

— Tom Schulz

via Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth: The Labyrinth.

“Solvitur ambulando” – it is solved by walking:  I also did a little research on the term “solvitur ambulando.” I found this very interesting.

Solvitur ambulando (pron.: /ˈsɒlvɪtər ˌæmbjʊˈlændoʊ/)[1] is a Latin term which means:

it is solved by walking

the problem is solved by a practical experiment

Diogenes of Sinope, also known as “Diogenes the Cynic,” is said to have replied to the argument that motion is unreal by standing up and walking away.

The phrase appears early in Lewis Carroll’s “What the Tortoise Said to Achilles”. Achilles uses it to accentuate that he was indeed successful in overtaking Tortoise in their race to empirically test one of Zeno’s paradoxes of motion. This passage also appears in Douglas Hofstadter’s book Gödel, Escher, Bach.

The phrase appears in Dorothy L. Sayers’s “Clouds of Witness”. During the Duke of Denver’s trial before the House of Lords, the Lord High Steward suggests (to laughter) solvitur ambulando to determine whether the decedent crawled or was dragged to a different location, as this was a matter of dispute between the prosecution and the defense.

The phrase is also cited in “Walking” by H.D. Thoreau and in “The Songlines” by Bruce Chatwin in its first meaning.

The phrase is discussed multiple times and at some length in The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux.

The phrase was the motto of the Royal Air Forces Escaping Society.

via Solvitur ambulando – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Momastery, blog, meme: I loved this graphic and I enjoyed her blog as well.

You’re not screwing it up. Your baby is just completely wicked awesome.

via Momastery.

I’ve been both a “working” and a “stay-at-home” mom so I’ve experienced both sides of the internal and eternal debate moms endure all day, every day. When I worked outside my house, Mommy Guilt rode shotgun with me each morning, chiding me for dropping off my sick boy at day care instead of keeping him home and for rocking him the night before instead of preparing for work. When I got to work each day Mommy Guilt whispered that a good mom would still be at home with her son and when I returned home she’d insist that a better teacher would have stayed at work longer. When I’d visit girlfriends who stayed home, Mommy Guilt would say “See… this lady’s doing it right. Her kids are better off than yours are.” And Mommy Guilt certainly had a lot to say when Chase’s day care provider admitted that he had taken his first steps while I was working. Every night when I finally got Chase to sleep, finished grading papers, and collapsed into the couch, Mommy Guilt would snuggle up next to me and sweetly say “shouldn’t you spend some quality time with your husband instead of checking out?” And finally, before I fell asleep each night, Mommy Guilt would whisper in my ear, “YOU KNOW, THE ONLY WAY YOU’RE GOING TO BE A GOOD MOTHER AND WIFE IS IF YOU QUIT YOUR JOB AND STAY HOME.”

And so now I’m a stay-at-home mom. And the thing is that Mommy Guilt stays home with me.

via Momastery.

Davidson College basketball, Nik Cochran, multitasking, live blogging: Another great day to be a Wildcat (fan)!  Congrats to Nik.  I think it is great that I can multitask and pay attention to a game.  I often put on the live blog, even when I am watching a game.

Cochran Hits 1,000 Career Points; Wildcats Roll to Eighth Straight Win

Nik Cochran became the 44th player in program history to hit the 1,000-point plateau and Davidson shot 53.6 percent in a convincing 87-52 victory over Appalachian State in front of 5,090 fans Saturday evening at Belk Arena.

via Davidson College Athletics.

Davidson College Athletics – Live Blog for Tonight’s Men’s Basketball Game vs. ASU.

Davidson College, Baker Athletic Center, The Davidsonian:  So many things to be done …

“Baker was designed 25 years ago when athletes had one season of intensive practice and play. Now all sports practice year round,” Jim Murphy, Director of Athletics, explains. “This building [Baker] has had an incredible demand put on it. There are students in this building almost around the clock.”

With additional men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball practice courts, as well as a dance center with two studios, office space, and storage, the extra space will alleviate scheduling constraints, reducing the current inconvenience of athletes missing study groups, regular dinner hours, and extracurricular activities.

In addition to benefiting varsity athletes, this extra space will increase student participation in club and intramural sports by 60%, as well as accommodate an expanding academic and extracurricular dance program.

Not all of the additions will be about scheduling, however. Some are merely ways to improve both the athlete and the spectator experience. The renovation will include new locker rooms, team rooms, film rooms, and administrative offices for men’s and women’s basketball. All athletes will appreciate the expanded Basil Boyd Training room, and students, faculty, and staff will benefit from a new cardio/fitness room, as well as a classroom for health and wellness instruction. Baker currently sees 90,000 patrons annually. A new ticket office with internal and external windows and a new game day entrance facing the parking lot will streamline the spectator experience.

The planned Baker renovations are a reflection of Davidson’s impressive expansion over the past quarter century. “Being able to respond so positively to the growth we’ve seen in the student population is the most exciting aspect of this project,” says Murphy.

via $15 M renovation of Baker slated to begin in April – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Stonewall Riots, President Obama,  1.21.13 Inauguration Speech, Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village, Christopher Park, public art, legal history, same-sex marriage, LGBTQ rights, 2013 Legal Festival of Learning, hetero-normative society:  Three weeks ago, if you asked me what I knew about the Stonewall Riots, I would not have been able to tell you anything, and when you told me about them, I would have had to admit that I really do not remember ever learning about the event. Well, President Obama referred to the riots in his 1.21.13 Inauguration Speech, I saw the Stonewall Inn on my 1.28.13 tour of Greenwich Village and the statues dedicated to the riots in Christopher Park (the park facing the Inn), and l learned about them in the context of the legal history of same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights at the Legal Festival of Learning on 2.9.13 (Same-Sex Relationships: Recent U.S. Developments by Maxine Eichner and Holning S. Lau). Sometimes I am amazed at how un-knowledgeable I am, and wonder if my education will ever be complete. As a lawyer and lover of history, now I at least feel like I can enter into an honest and educated conversation of the topic.”

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I had not witnessed the use of the acronym LGBTQ ….

When most people see the acronym “LGBTQ” they are fairly certain what the first four letters stand for. “L,” of course, stands for “lesbian;” “G” is for gay; “B” stands for “bisexual” and “T” means “transgender.” But the “Q,” which represents the word “queer,” is harder to define.

So what exactly does it mean to be “queer?”

“Personally, I think ‘queer’ encompasses ALL in the community, whereas ‘gay’ is primarily used for only the homosexual male segment of the community,” says Kate Sherry, the editor of Queer Life News. “However, there some of us who do identify strictly as ‘queer’ instead of ‘lesbian’ or ‘trans,’ etc.”

Originally, the word “queer” meant unusual or strange, and later, it became a derogatory term for someone who is gay. At the end of the 20th century, members of the gay community reclaimed the word and in doing so, recycled the meaning once again, this time with the goal of empowerment.

The “grayness” of the word is part of its power because it breaks down the ability to label and categorize lifestyles that unfairly generate hate and oppression. Activists, people who strongly reject traditional gender or sexual identities, or anyone who feel oppressed by the pressure to conform to the heterosexual lifestyle often use the word.

According to Bill Serpe, the executive director of Senior Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE), “queer” is a catchall word for anyone who is outside the societal norm, not just those who identify themselves as part of the gay community.

“Someone is queer when they have realized that they are not straight, heterosexual or born in the wrong body. Not all people who might fall in this category like being called queer, but would agree that they are living a lifestyle that is different from what is considered the social norm,” says Serpe.

So, can a straight person be queer? Sure. For some, the “Q” stands for “questioning,” which includes people living the straight lifestyle but questioning their sexuality, someone who isn’t sexual at all because they are unsure of their identity or a person who is sexual, but doesn’t fit into any particular box.

“Anyone who feels they don’t or can’t conform to a hetero-normative society are eligible for queer status!” says Sherry.

via OnMilwaukee.com Milwaukee Buzz: What does the “Q” in LGBTQ really mean?.

2013 Northeast Blizzard , Storm Nemo, Nemo memes:  It is amazing th pictures and videos that are coming out of the NE.  Apart of me would love to be there and a part is glad I am looking at tulip tree blossoms! FYI —  10 Things To Know About The Northeast Blizzard. I just love this picture of Beacon Hill from the WSJ …

EASTON, Mass.—A historic blizzard pummeled the Northeast, dumping up to three feet of snow across New England and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of customers in New England.

via Storm Sweeps Through Northeast U.S. – WSJ.com.

And then there are the Nemo memes. 🙂

The 15 Funniest Blizzard Nemo Memes

The 15 Funniest Blizzard Nemo Memes

Nemo in the Snow | Complex.

Cool Tools, Boing Boing: Just found this  interesting …

We’ve already come up with a lot of ideas for Cool Tools projects, and some are very ambitious. As Kevin said, “Let’s turn Cool Tools into a butterfly, not just a better caterpillar.” That’s a terrific goal to have, and it’s one that can be achieved while staying true to Cool Tools’ original statement of purpose:

Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. All reviews on this site are written by readers who have actually used the tool and others like it. Items can be either old or new as long as they are wonderful. We only post things we like and ignore the rest.

I love learning about what people make and do, and the tools they use. Do you have a tool you love? Tell us about it at Cool Tools.

via Mark joins Cool Tools – Boing Boing.

Mason-Dixon Knitting.

 English grammar,  NFL,  Tweets, Chris Culliver, Wes Welker, 2d graders: 🙂

A class of 2nd Graders show off their corrections to a number of tweets from top NFL sports stars, including this one by San Francisco 49ers' Chris Culliver.

A group of 2nd graders have corrected  a number of NFL tweets; handing out a lesson in spelling and grammar to a number of top NFL stars.

The second grade students from Elmwood Franklin Elementary in Buffalo, N.Y. were given a challenge by faculty at the school to correct the grammar and spelling mistakes in a number of Twitter postings from top NFL players.

The young children went to work on tweets from Chris Culliver, Wes Welker and Titus D Young Sr. on Friday, correcting errors in grammar the stars had made in the world of Twitter.

In one tweet by Chris Culliver in which the San Francisco 49ers player tweeted, “I pray to God I’m never dieing broke”

Chris Culliver has been in the news a lot this week as the San Francisco 49ers prepare to take on the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans this Sunday for Super Bowl 47.

However, despite the pressure that must be on Culliver in preparing for the big game, the kids were still unforgiving on his spelling and grammar.

via 2nd Graders Correct NFL Tweets: Chris Culliver, Wes Welker Twitter Accounts Given English Lesson.

blogs, knitting:  I don’t knit, but I liked the blog because of the dialogue between the two writers … Mason-Dixon Knitting.

weddings, destination weddings, Travel + Leisure: When I first started hearing about destination weddings (and I will attend my first this spring), I asked my teenage daughter  if she would ever want a “destination wedding” … the beach where she grew up going, for example.  She looked at me like I was crazy … so I was astounded to read this article  …  “For many couples, I think, it’s the weirder the better.”

“People don’t want their big day to be cookie-cutter,” says Anja Winikka, editor of TheKnot.com, a popular wedding-planning website. “First, the crazy new thing was destination weddings”—which these days represent about 20 percent of ceremonies. “And now, just in the past five years, we’re noticing many more couples seeking unusual settings, from treetops to airplane hangars. For many couples, I think, it’s the weirder the better.”

via Worlds Strangest Places to Get Married – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

twitter, HuffPostHome:  HuffPostHome … I will not trust you again.  This one was really stupid and definitely not  “one of the coolest things … ever seen.”

HuffPost Home 

@HuffPostHome

This laundry trick is one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen huff.to/12BrQFE

15
Jan
12

1.15.2012 … FPC was spot on today … Enjoyed Wired Word Sunday School and Worship … Lots to ponder … great start to my week. MLK’s actual birthday is today. I remember Atlanta’s first holiday well … I had my 4 canines pulled for braces … Pain and enslavement of my teeth …

FPC, worship, Wired Word Sunday School, Psalm 139, Bonhoeffer, MLK, Hymn 400 – When we are living: FPC was spot on today.  We are lucky to have such wonderful ministers on staff.  I enjoyed Wired Word Sunday School where we discussed In Time of U.S.-Iran Tension, U.S. Navy Rescues Two Iranian Crews and Worship, especially Katie Crowe’s sermon “Known.”  Both gave me lots to ponder … great start to my week.

Wired Word: Great discussion of duty to enemies in light of “In Time of U.S.-Iran Tension, U.S. Navy Rescues Two Iranian Crews.”

From Katie’s sermon “Known:”

Psalm 139

1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.

Excuse me, have we met?

Sin wants to be alone with people. It takes them away from the Life of Jesus in others. The more lonely people become, the more destructive the power of sin over them. The more deeply they become entangled in it, the more unholy is their loneliness.

via Bonhoeffer on “Confessing Sins One to Another”… : www.JesusLifeTogether.com.

MLK: “I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him.”

Incredible?  Even though known God invites us to salvation … God is going to do great things with your life I can’t wait to see it

And finally Hymn 400: When we are living …

Across this wide world, we shall always find
Those who are crying with no peace of mind,
But when we help them, or when we feed them,
We belong to God.
We belong to God.

MLK birthday: MLK’s actual birthday is today. I remember Atlanta’s first holiday well.  It was my first year in private school and I did not get the holiday, but my brother in public school. My parents surprised me that morning and said … you don’t have to go to school either … I had my 4 canines pulled for braces … Pain and enslavement of my teeth …

kith/kin, Charlotte Latin School:  Molly in CLS Admission’s ad in today’s paper. 🙂 We loved that they chose her given that she loves CLS so much.  Great experience … great education.

 

Federal Reserve, economics:  The Fed is much lke the Supreme Court.  We are always amazed that is is a collection of human beings, not  machine.  And sometimes they don’t get it right.

The transcripts of the 2006 meetings, released after a standard five-year delay, clearly show some of the nation’s pre-eminent economic minds did not fully understand the basic mechanics of the economy that they were charged with shepherding. The problem was not a lack of information; it was a lack of comprehension, born in part of their deep confidence in economic forecasting models that turned out to be broken.

“It’s embarrassing for the Fed,” said Justin Wolfers, an economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “You see an awareness that the housing market is starting to crumble, and you see a lack of awareness of the connection between the housing market and financial markets.”

“It’s also embarrassing for economics,” he continued. “My strong guess is that if we had a transcript of any other economist, there would be at least as much fodder.”

Many of the officials who appear in the transcripts have since spoken publicly about the Fed’s failings in the years before the crisis. But the transcripts provide a raw and detailed account of those errors as they were made. Evidence of problems in the housing market accumulated at each meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets policy for the central bank.

For a famously private institution known for its cryptic, formulaic statements, the meeting transcripts offer a rare glimpse of senior officials in relatively unguarded conversation, somewhat akin to the tapes that some presidents have made in the Oval Office. The Fed officials exchange jokes, gossip about people who are not present, and speak much more frankly about the economy and policy than they did in the public remarks that they made contemporaneously.

The results are unlikely to burnish any of their reputations, inasmuch as they could not see the widening cracks beneath their feet. But the Fed’s chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, appears as the most consistent voice of warning that problems in the housing market could have broader consequences.

The general consensus on the board, summarized by Mr. Geithner, was that problems in the housing market had few broader ramifications. “We just don’t see troubling signs yet of collateral damage, and we are not expecting much,” he said at the September meeting.

Mr. Bernanke initially agreed, telling colleagues at his first meeting as chairman, in March, “I think we are unlikely to see growth being derailed by the housing market.”

As the year rolled along, however, Mr. Bernanke increasingly took the view that his colleagues were too sanguine.

”I don’t have quite as much confidence as some people around the table that there will be no spillover effect,” he said.

via Inside the Fed in 2006 – A Coming Crisis, and Banter – NYTimes.com.

tweet of the day, zombies, zombify, poetry, Maya Angelou:

Alfred A. Knopf (@AAKnopf)
1/13/12 2:49 PM
I could quote entire stanzas of Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” as #zombiepoetry …but that poem is too awesome to zombify!

Winter in London, travel, London, chocolatiers:  Going to London for my late January birthday …. Melt may be on my list!

Have a Hot Chocolate

When you’re out and about in the cold, blood sugar levels can plummet, resulting in classic kiddy temper tantrums! Boost their energy levels and put a smile on their faces with a steaming mug of delicious hot chocolate. Try Notting Hill chocolatiers, Melt for a serious dose of cocoa. They also run a children’s hour where young chocoholics can have a crack at making their own chocolate treats. Yum!

via Family: Tips on Enjoying the Best of Winter in London – Visit London.

About Melt

Melt is a fantastic chocolatier on Ledbury Road selling delicious chocolates. Damian, the chocolate specialist and pastry chef, has fifteen years experience working in Michelin starred restaurants around the world.

via Melt – Places To Go in London – Visit London.

04
Dec
11

12.4.2011 … FPC’s sanctuary looks beautiful! I love this old church … in the right place this Second Sunday of Advent …

FPC, Sunday School, Dr. Greg Snyder, history, archeology, Jesus, Josephus:  First in Sunday SchoolDr. Greg Snyder led our discussion of  the historical and archeological evidence supporting Jesus’ birth, ministry and death.

“Preparing Room: The Birth Narrative in Context”

This class will explore the first century Palestinian (social, political, economic and religious) context in conversation with the birth narratives of the synoptic gospels.

Dr. Greg Snyder (M.A., MDiv., PhD.) is currently a professor of Religion at Davidson College. Dr. Snyder teaches courses on New Testament history and literature, non-canonical gospels, Roman Religion, and the History of the Bible in America. His research interests include the social history of religious and philosophical groups under the Roman Empire; the results of this study are gathered in his book, Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World (London: Routledge, 2000). Dr. Snyder is also a co-editor of In Search of the Early Christians: Selected Essays of Wayne Meeks (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002) and has published several articles.

via First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.

historical …

In his writings, Josephus mentions the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians. He mentions Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, Jesus (twice) and James the brother of Jesus. He also mentions the Essenes – the strict religious sect within Judaism that founded the Qumran community, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. In fact, Josephus says that he spent some time with the Essenes. This is how he describes it (Cited by Carsten Peter Thiede in ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish origins of Christianity.’):

When I was about sixteen, I wanted to gain first-hand experience of our different movements. There are three: first, the Pharisees, second the Sadducees, and third the Essenes – as I have noted frequently. I thought I would be able to choose the best, by learning about all these schools. Thus I steeled myself for the task and studied the three courses with some effort.

In book 18 of the Antiquities, 63-64, the text of Josephus as we have it today says:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is lawful to call him a man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the prophets of God had foretold these and ten thousand other wonders about him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

In fact, this text is a bit too much of a good thing for our purposes. It seems unlikely that a Jew such as Josephus would have written some of the things in this passage. Most scholars today agree that it has been altered by early Christians seeking to ‘improve’ it. It seems more likely that Josephus originally wrote something like this:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. When Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

via What the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus says about Jesus Christ.

Archeology

  • tomb containing ossuary of Caiphas
  1. Limestone bone box size of microwave.
  2. Inscription in Aramaic
  3. High class ossuary
  4. Knowledge of greek ?  Evidence that more knew Greek.
  5. Mortality rates … 40 of 63 in Caiphas tomb under 12.
  6. Miriam – body had greek coin in mouth. Greek custom … Pay to cross to afterlife.
  • Yechohanan’s remains
  1. Crucified nail in bone
  2. Romans there. Crucifixion roman.
  • Deep oppressive ubiquitous roman presence?
  1. Romans content to leave status quo as long as taxes flowed back to Rome.
  2. Most roman presence in cesaria except in pilgrimage times .. Passover.
  • Herod the Great
  1. Josephus has pages about him
  2. Sarcapoghus of Herod the Great
  3. Herodium –Theater with VIP box painted walls (Prepared for Mark Anthony); also friend of Cesar Augustus .. Helpful in conquer Egypt
  4. Grest builder:  cesaria, Masada, herodium, temple in Jerusalem
  5. Caught in vice: Jewish vs Greco roman. Romans eagle above entrance to tomb
  6. 5 wives.10 children very conniving.
  7. “Rather be herod’s pig than his son!”In his advancing paranoia, he was continually writing to Rome for permission to execute one or two of his sons for treason. Finally even his patron and friend Augustus had to admit, “I’d rather be Herod’s pig than his son.” It was not only a play on the similar sounding Greek words for son and pig, but a wry reference to the fact that pork, at least, was not consumed by Jews.via History of King Herod: Why was he called Great? — Bill Petro.
  8. Death and everything unraveled …Judea carved up among 3 sons ..
  • Slaughter of the infants .. Tintoretto painting
  1. Josephus – Herod rounded up and killed young men on his death
  2. But slaughter of infants very similar to Moses.
  3. Birth narrative theologically motivated … Literature
  • Interesting tidbit … Netzer, archeologist,  died at site.

JERUSALEM — Ehud Netzer, one of Israel’s best-known archeologists who unearthed King Herod’s tomb near Bethlehem three years ago, died on Thursday after being injured in a fall at the site. He was 76.

Mr. Netzer was leaning on a wooden safety rail on Monday when it gave way, sending him tumbling 15 feet. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem with critical injuries and died there.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the death “a loss for his family, for scholars of Israel’s history and for archeology.”

Mr. Netzer, who was professor emeritus of archeology at Hebrew University, had led high-profile digs across the country and helped educate several generations of Israeli archeologists.

After three decades of research, he was the pre-eminent expert on Herodium, a fortified palace complex that Herod built atop a small mountain near Bethlehem when he ruled in the decades just before the birth of Jesus. Herod, the Rome-appointed king of Judea from 37 to 4 B. C., was famed for his monumental structures, including the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the desert fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea and Herodium.

via Ehud Netzer, Archeologist Who Unearthed Herod’s Tomb, Dies at 76 – NYTimes.com.

FPC, Rev. Roland Purdue, worship: The sermon, “A world Whirled and Staggered,” …

Notes:

  • Isaiah 7:10-14 (RSV)10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,11 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”

    12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.”

    13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?

    14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman’u-el.

    via Isaiah 7:10-14 “Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,…” RSV – Online Bible Study – Online Bible Study Tools.

  1. Staggering things but no one aware of anything in particular.
  2. Ahaz pious and refuses to test God
  3. isaiah: God give sign if you will trust in Lord
  4. Women give birth all the time? Probably child born of Ahaz or Isaiah … Isaiah known for naming children prophetically.  Probably of Isaiah.
  5. Ahaz refuses
  • Matthew 1:18-25Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

    20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

    22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).

    24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

    via Bible.

  1. 7 centuries later
  2. After Jesus birth and death, Matthew and Christian community take the Isaiah prophesy
  • Peace candle only God’s gift allow us to enjoy that peace
  • Salvation among us because of Gid’d gift
  • Gift uniquely bundled up on a child
  • Since birth of Jesus no child ever the same.
  • Time to be responsible adults and reach out to the children ours or another. Say to child that they are a sign of God in your life.

Nobel Prize, economics, macroeconomics, Great Recession: Fascinating …

 “If it’s a prank,” she whispered, “they’re doing a pretty good Swedish accent.”

At the same hour, near the campus of New York University in Manhattan, Thomas J. Sargent was already wide awake. He, too, had received an unexpected call.

Stockholm was on the line. The two men, intellectual sparring mates for more than 40 years, had won the Nobel in economic science. (They are to collect it on Saturday.)

And yet, in this time of economic angst, with the fate of the euro and the course of the global economy uncertain, these two Americans have reached the pinnacle of a profession that, to many, seems to have failed miserably. The financial crisis of 2008-09, the Great Recession, the debt mess in Europe — few economists saw all of it coming. For all its elegance, modern macroeconomics seemed to provide little help when the world needed it most.

Today, solutions to our economic troubles, from onerous government debt to high unemployment, remain elusive. And the field of economics, like Washington politics, seems as polarized as ever.

Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent neither prescribe cures nor forecast the future. Nor do they deal in the sound bites of talking heads on cable TV. They are reluctant celebrities, men whose work can baffle even Ph.D.’s.

So it comes as a surprise, not least to Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent, that these two now find themselves thrust into an uncomfortable spotlight. Conservative voices, like the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, have claimed them as their own. The men’s work on economic cause and effect and the theory of rational expectations — which maintains that people use all the information available in making economic decisions — proves that Keynes had it wrong, these commentators say.

It would be a provocative thesis — if it were true. But Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent say their work is being misread. Both, in fact, are longtime Democrats who maintain that government can, and should, play a role in economic affairs. They stand behind many recent policies of the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve. They even have some ideas about how European governments might defuse the running crisis on the Continent.

They won their Nobel for “their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy,” in the academy’s words. What that means, in part, is that they have done some serious math. Today, ideas they largely formed in the 1970s and ’80s help shape the thinking inside the Fed and on Wall Street.

via Nobel Winners in Economics – The Reluctant Celebrities – NYTimes.com.

 

movies, J Edgar, biopic, history:  Always fascinated by K Edgar hoover … want to see J. Edgar (2011) – IMDb…. was he gay?

Sitting in front of Hoover’s grave in Congressional Cemetery (an inspired touch) Schwarz argues that in the movie, “Mr. Hoover was portrayed as an individual who had homosexual tendencies and was a tyrannical monster…That is clearly not true.” To prove his point, Schwarz mentions that the real Hoover wrote personal notes to his agents to mark births, deaths and anniversaries. For Schwarz this is clear enough evidence that Hoover was not an administrative monster with no social life. But it is the same love of rules that also implies to Schwarz that there was no chance that Hoover was homosexual.

Schwarz’s belief is based on the notion that Hoover condemned extra-marital affairs and anyone who was homosexual was considered a “security risk.” (Although if Armie Hammer was your assistant you might bend the rules, too.) For Schwarz, there is no way a man who condemns homosexuality could possibly be gay. Apparently he has chosen to ignore the many former Congressmen and religious leaders who put the lie to that belief and is also completely unaware of the human capacity to protest too much.

via Ex-FBI Agents Angered by Clint Eastwood’s Portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover as Gay in New Biopic | Entertainment | TIME.com.

Ayn Rand, yoga, lululemon, mash-up:  Interesting mash-up!  And that is the first time I have used that term!  Atlas Stretched: What Ayn Rand, yoga, and lululemon’s new shopping bags have in common. – Slate Magazine.

The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing something selfish and virtuous at the same time. You are sweating and suffering and honing a “watchful mind,” but also taking a break from your daily burdens and acquiring fantastic-looking abs. And that’s the genius of Ayn Rand: She made egoism the ultimate good. What Christianity labels as the unfortunate consequence of original sin, Rand saw as man’s natural and best state. (Interestingly, while Ayn Rand’s atheism bothers conservative evangelicals, it seems to bother some of them less than does yoga, which they view as paganism parading as a health movement. John Galt, at least, would have shared their hatred of Obamacare.)

— Slate on the Who Is John Galt quasi-meme and what Aynd Rand and yoga have in common

via curiosity counts – The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing….

‘Leonardo da Vinci’ , National Gallery in London, travel, museum exhibits, London: I want to go, I want to go …

Despite all the madness Mr. Syson, who is leaving the National Gallery to become curator of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Met in January, has a message he hopes the exhibition is delivering: Realizing that Leonardo has recently been prized more as a scientist than as an artist, he wants the public to see how painting was actually central to the master’s way of thinking. Judging by the show’s popularity, that point is getting across.

“I don’t mean to sound like a mystical priest, but on some level these paintings communicate soul to soul,” he said. “Great art does work on people in mysterious ways.”

via‘Leonardo da Vinci’ Blockbuster at National Gallery in London – NYTimes.com.

 Great White,  Wilmington NC, North Carolina:  dun-dun! dun-dun! dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun, da-na-na!

This is a great PR opportunity for the Iphone 4s – a Massachusetts man captured HD footage of an 18-foot Great White shark off the coast of North Carolina over the weekend. Matt Garrett and friends were 25 miles off the coast of Wrightsville Beach on a day fishing trip when out of the deep the shark came.

The footage is as stunning as it is chilling, particularly given the calm waters on that sun-filled day.

“Off in a distance we saw two big fins sticking up in the water. We thought it was a couple Atlantic Sunfish or two dolphins. As the two fins approached a little closer, we noticed it was a giant shark.” Garrett said.

Watch the video for all the details and think twice before you surf in Hatteras again.

via Incredible Great White Footage Captured off North Carolina – USATODAY.com.

Davidson College, Davidson basketball:  Talking points …

One of the main points of emphasis on this year’s Wildcats’ team has been to make the game go as fast as it can go.

via Davidson sets fast pace, keeps Furman on the run | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

David Foster Wallace, academic resources: Want to know what it would be like to have David Foster Wallace as a professor? Check out his English 102 syllabus …  I had to check out who he was  …

David Foster Wallace, whose prodigiously observant, exuberantly plotted, grammatically and etymologically challenging, philosophically probing and culturally hyper-contemporary novels, stories and essays made him an heir to modern virtuosos like Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, an experimental contemporary of William T. Vollmann, Mark Leyner and Nicholson Baker and a clear influence on younger tour-de-force stylists like Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer, died on Friday at his home in Claremont, Calif. He was 46.

A spokeswoman for the Claremont police said Mr. Wallace’s wife, Karen Green, returned home to find that her husband had hanged himself. Mr. Wallace’s father, James Donald Wallace, said in an interview on Sunday that his son had been severely depressed for a number of months.

via David Foster Wallace, Influential Writer, Dies at 46 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com.

Book cover. Click to enlarge.

 

Annotated pages . Click to enlarge.

Annotated pages from David Foster Wallace’s teaching copy of C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Harry Ransom Center.

A small but significant portion of the David Foster Wallace archive represents his teaching career, from his graduate school years through to his work as a faculty member at Pomona College in the years before his death. Wallace not only had high expectations for his students, but took his own role as a teacher very seriously. Syllabi, paper topic handouts, quizzes, vocabulary lists, heavily annotated teaching texts, and other documents dating from the late 1980s to 2008 are represented in the collection. Shown here are assignments and books representing various periods in his teaching career.

via Teaching materials from the David Foster Wallace archive.

Kodak, brand, “creative destruction”:  Kodak was the best … I remember the first time I bought Fuji film!

Kodak Brownie and Instamatic cameras were once staples of family vacations and holidays — remember the “open me first” Christmas ad campaigns? But it may not be long before a generation of Americans grows up without ever having laid hands on a Kodak product. That’s a huge comedown for a brand that was once as globally familiar as Coca-Cola.

It’s hard to think of a company whose onetime dominance of a market has been so thoroughly obliterated by new technology. Family snapshots? They’re almost exclusively digital now, and only a tiny fraction ever get printed on paper.

Eastman Kodak engineers invented the digital camera in 1975; but now that you can point and click with a cheap cellphone, even the stand-alone digital camera is becoming an endangered species on the consumer electronics veld. The last spool of yellow-boxed Kodachrome rolled out the door of a Mexican factory in 2009. Paul Simon composed his hymn to Kodachrome in 1973, but his camera of choice, according to the lyrics, was a Nikon.

It’s not uncommon for great companies to be humbled by what the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter called the forces of “creative destruction.” Technology, especially digital technology, has been the most potent whirlwind sweeping away old markets and old strategies for many decades. Changing economics and global competition have reduced behemoths of the past, such as General Motors, into mice of the present.

via Kodak’s long fade to black – latimes.com.

Great Recession,  European Financial Mess:  Help …

Much like our own recent housing crisis, the European financial mess is unfolding in a foreign language. It is the lingua franca of financial obscurity — “sovereign credit spreads” and other terms that most people don’t need, or care, to know.

Yet the bottom line is simple: Europe’s problems are a lot like ours, only worse. Like Wall Street, Germany is where the money is. Italy, like California, has let bad governance squander great natural resources. Greece is like a much older version of Mississippi — forever poor and living a bit too much off its richer neighbors. Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia are like the heartland states that learned the hard way how entwined so-called Main Street is with Wall Street. Now remember that these countries share neither a government nor a language. Nor a realistic bailout plan, either.

Lack of fluency in financialese shouldn’t preclude anyone from understanding what is going on in Europe or what may yet happen. So we’ve answered some of the most pressing questions in a language everyone can comprehend. Though the word for “Lehman” in virtually any language is still “Lehman.”

via Translating the European Financial Mess – NYTimes.com.

Chelsea Clinton: Very enjoyable article … I wonder why she named her dog “Soren” [Kierkegaard]?

OVER a series of casual dinners at neighborhood restaurants near her Flatiron District apartment in the spring, Chelsea Clinton began talking to a couple of longtime friends about something she’d been mulling for a while.

It was quite an assertion from someone who — despite the very public profile of her parents, one a former president and the other the current secretary of state — had lived most of her 31 years at a far remove from the spotlight.

And in her most high-profile move so far, she has taken a job with NBC News as a special correspondent, contributing to the network’s “Making a Difference” franchise. On Dec. 12, Ms. Clinton will make her first appearance on the prime-time newsmagazine “Rock Center With Brian Williams,” with a segment she developed about a nonprofit organization in Pine Bluff, Ark.

As she headed to the airport in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday evening, after filming her NBC segment, Ms. Clinton discussed in a phone interview her decision to take on a more public role. “My parents taught me to approach the world critically, but also to approach it with a sense of responsibility,” she said.

Mr. Mezvinsky, a former Goldman Sachs banker, will soon start a hedge fund with a friend. The couple’s apartment, shared with a miniature Yorkshire terrier named Soren, after the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, is said to be overflowing with books. On the phone from Arkansas, Ms. Clinton talked about her husband’s continuous support and their habit of talking “about everything, almost sometimes ad nauseam.”

via Chelsea Clinton, Living Up to the Family Name – NYTimes.com.

Newt Gingrich, Maureen Dowd: scathing!

NEWT GINGRICH’S mind is in love with itself.

It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous. This is not a serious mind. Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker.

His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior.

He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it.

“Part of the question I had to ask myself,” he said in a 1985 Wall Street Journal piece about war wimps, “was what difference I would have made.”

Newt swims easily in a sea of duality and byzantine ideas that don’t add up. As The Washington Post reported on Friday, an America under President Gingrich would have two Social Security systems — “one old, one new, running side by side” — two tax systems and two versions of Medicare.

Newt’s the kind of person whom child labor laws were created to curb. He sounds like a benign despot with a colonial subtext: Until I bring you the benefits of civilization, we will regard you as savages.

He’s Belgium. The poor are Congo.

via Out of Africa and Into Iowa – NYTimes.com.

20
Nov
11

11.20.2011 … just a regular Sunday … The Widow Mite/Might …

FPC, Roland Purdue, sermon, faith and spirituality, worship, Soren Kierkegaard: Rev. Purdue referenced “Prompters in worship” from Kierkegaard … so I had to look it up.
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), a great theologian, was born in Copenhagen in the early nineteenth century. He graduated from the University of Copenhagen and then spent two years in Germany before he returned to Copenhagen, where he lived the rest of his life. Although his writings covered many areas of the Christian faith, he was particularly outspoken on the subject of worship.

He was quite critical of many churches whose worship had become “user friendly.” He developed the idea that Christian worship was a drama. He had come to the conviction that many churches also believed that, but that there was an inappropriate redefining of what that meant. What he observed was that in the drama, God was to be the prompter, the liturgical leaders (musicians, readers of the scriptures, preachers and celebrants) had become the actors in the drama and the congregation had become the audience in the drama. An elitist class of leaders had implicitly modeled that they were better equipped to be the performers in this drama and that it was best if those in the congregation just watched as onlookers. This understanding of worship is still maintained and taught in many churches in America today.

Kierkegaard taught that this understanding of our worship of drama was totally wrong. People were taking on the wrong rolls. The liturgical leaders (musicians, readers of the scriptures, preachers and celebrants) were to be the prompters in worship. All of us, the congregation as well as the liturgical leaders are the actors in the drama of worship and God alone is the audience for the drama.

via Soren Kierkegaard – Theologian – Worship is a drama.

culture, Southern culture,  Flannery O’Connor , Eudora Welty, eccentrics, LOL:  I wonder which I am … an O”Connor or Welty eccentric.  I’m definitely Southern!

…  at almost forty, I’m learning being from the South doesn’t make me stupid, it makes me Southern. And I own that, by God. As my friend says, “That which you once mocked, you now embrace.” She usually says that about something like caftans or yard gnomes, but it works here too. I have embraced the Southern Woman inside me and she would like to talk to you about your lack of calling cards. I fully intend to age gracefully into a caftan-wearing, yard gnome-loving, giant beaded necklace-wearing Southern Eccentric Woman…of the Flannery O’Connor persuasion.

I like to classify Southern eccentrics into two groups: Eudora Welty eccentric or Flannery O’Connor eccentric. If you are a Welty eccentric, your sister is called something like Cattie Paw because her name is Katherine and she walks quietly. If you are O’Connor eccentric, your sister is called Trampasaurus Oceanus because she gets around during Fleet Week. Welty eccentrics may leave a family dinner to go sit in the woods and sketch lichen. O’Connor eccentrics leave a family dinner after announcing they’ve ended the affair with the Methodists’ choir director to move to Hilton Head with the Piggly Wiggly produce manager and his spiritual guru.

via Embracing My Inner Flannery by Susan Wilson | LikeTheDew.com.

old news, human trafficking, slavery:  This astounds me … I, too, believe that freedom is a basic human right.

There are 27 million slaves in the world today — more than ever before in human history. Kutcher continued, “One could make an assumption that it’s a global problem. The CIA estimates that there are a million slaves in the US today. I think if Abe knew that, he’d be quite upset.”

A year ago, the couple came to CGI with the intent to educate themselves as much as possible about the issue: the modern day abolition movement. The more they learned about it, however, the more they realized there was no way they could continue living in the world and not do something about it. Among their education, they went on an exploratory trip to the Mexican-US border. Kutcher details one of their encounters, “We met a girl who told us how she was trafficked into the US, taken into a field by her pimp and raped by 30 men on a trash bag. That’s the day we started the DNA Foundation.”

Over the past year, Moore, Kutcher and the DNA Foundation have been gaining momentum and street-cred among the philanthropic, social action and social media communities. This new, holistic campaign takes them one step closer to making their mission — that freedom is a basic human right — a reality.

via Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher Looking for “Real Men” | Demi and Ashton Foundation.

On this day …, Thomas Edison, phonograph, inventions:

On this day in 1877, Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph.

via Twitter / @LIFE: On this day in 1877, Thoma ….

 …

Play That Old-Timey Music!

Ever since Thomas Edison (pictured) created the phonograph after five days and nights hooking up his ears to rubber tubes, the world’s been grooving to the oldies thanks to the miracle of recorded music. But way before there was ever anything remotely resembling an iPod, listening to a particular recording meant listening to a victrola, gramophone, or phonograph, which could sound awfully staticky to our MP3-spoiled ears. Still, there’s no reason not to break out the old LPs every once in a while and crank up that old-timey music!

via Play That Old-Timey Music! – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

 travel, 1%, first class/business class:  I had no idea about international first class … business class is very nice.

The gap between first class and coach has never been so wide.

Carriers on international flights are offering private suites for first-class passengers, three-star meals and personal service once found only on corporate jets. They provide massages before takeoff, whisk passengers through special customs lanes and drive them in a private limousine right to the plane. Some have bars. One airline has installed showers onboard.

The amenities in the back of the cabin? Sparse.

So as domestic travelers take to the skies for the holiday season, most will be in cramped cabins, their food is likely to be bland and they will have paid for it, along with any fees for slightly more legroom or checked bags.

But even as they have cut back on domestic service, including first-class accommodations, the airlines have been engaged in a global battle for top executives and the superwealthy on their international routes. Though only a privileged few can afford to pay $15,000 to fly first class from New York to Singapore or Sydney, the airlines are betting that the image of luxury they project for the front helps attract passengers to the rest of the plane. That includes a growing business-class section with offerings once solely the preserve of first class.

via Taking First-Class Coddling Above and Beyond – NYTimes.com.

Gugghenheim Museum, apps, Maurizio Cattelan:  I think this is great!

Enjoy unique access to Maurizio Cattelan: All with this interactive, multiplatform app, which features dramatic views of the museum’s unprecedented site-specific installation along with extensive documentation of Cattelan’s artworks, actions, and other projects.

In short videos, filmmaker John Waters introduces the app and its sections. Exhibition curator Nancy Spector offers an illuminating presentation of Cattelan’s oeuvre, while exhibition engineers and artwork conservators offer a behind-the-scenes look at putting the show together.

via Download the App.

quotes, Collette, history:  I liked the quote, but had no idea who Collette was …

“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”
 Colette

Colette (1873-1954)

Colette was a writer known for her novels in which women were depicted as full sexual beings. Her husband published her first works under his own name. Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette married twice and was involved with women and men outside her marriages. One of the most famous adaptations of Colette’s work was the play and movie, Gigi.

via Colette Quotes.

24
Apr
11

4.24.2011 … “Sing and Rejoice” … “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” … “Awake the Trumpet’s Lofty Sound” … “Alleluia, Alleluia! Give Thanks” … “In Christ there is no east or west, in Him no south or north; but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth.” … “The Day of Resurrection” … “Christ is Alive” … Hallelujah” … Again, Happy Easter!

Easter, faith and spirituality, worship, worship music, FPC:  The service was beautiful … I loved the music and feel blessed for the music ministry at our church … “Sing and Rejoice” … “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” … “Awake the Trumpet’s Lofty Sound” … “Alleluia, Alleluia! Give Thanks” … “In Christ there is no east or west, in Him no south or north; but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth.” … “The Day of Resurrection” … “Christ is Alive” … hallelujah” …
Easter, history, cultural history:

In The Mood for Easter

Long before the birth of 50-foot blow-up bunnies and AstroTurf egg hunts, people still gathered with the folks they loved most and celebrated Easter. Here, a look back.

via Easter: The Early Days – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Easter, Bones, LOL, quotes, twitter:  From Hart Hanson, the producer of Bones:

Happy Easter. To quote Seeley Booth: “Jesus is not a zombie. I should not have to tell you that.” Temperance Brennan does not agree.

via (4) Twitter / Home.

Easter, cultural Easter, lists:

Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Easter

From dressing up as witches to burning effigies of politicians, the world holds many more Easter traditions than just dyeing eggs.

via Sweden’s Easter Witches – Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Easter – TIME.

Easter, cultural Easter, Easter baskets/candy, chocolate Easter bunny:  I think I start with the tail … be right back I’ll check!

Adults may be sneaking goodies from kids’ Easter baskets because they appear very knowledgeable about the best way to eat chocolate bunnies. Eating bunnies’ ears first won hands down. “Apparently, this is the most appropriate way to enjoy a chocolate bunny,” said Graham, who admits to eating bunnies’ ears first, himself. Of 1,000 adults surveyed, 76 percent said they start with the ears when they munch a chocolate bunny. Eating bunnies’ feet first (five percent) and tail first (four percent) were not popular choices.

via Taking a Bite Out of the Bunny: Ears Munched First According to Easter Survey – Press Relases – News & Hot Topics – NCA.

Easter, cultural Easter, Easter baskets/candy, Peeps:  This one is funny …

If bragging rights are more valuable than time and money, then Racheal Jones and Ramona Wesely, both of Dallas, and Kathleen Canedo of Oakton, Va., and Hillary Berman of Bethesda, Md., are on Easy Street.

The Texas duo made a mad dash from the Lone Star State to Chicago (arrived Thursday, back home Friday) to deliver their diorama, “Satine the Sparkling Peep from Moulin Peep,” in time for our judges’ panel to deem it their hands-down favorite.

Canedo and Berman made a more leisurely trip from the East Coast, blogging about and posting photos of their journey with their “Larry Peep Live on PNN” diorama in tow. The judges’ panel, comprising movie critic Michael Phillips, visual arts reporter Lauren Viera and theater critic Chris Jones, awarded Canedo and Berman No. 2 honors, once they stopped marveling at the detail of “Larry Peep’s” glasses and little suspenders.

via Peeps contest, Easter, Peeps diorama, – chicagotribune.com.

health, substance abuse, danger:  Alcohol wins … no big honor …

You may want to think twice before going to happy hour tonight.

Alcohol is more dangerous than heroin, crack cocaine, and methamphetamines, at least according to a new study published in The Lancet, a British medical journal.

The study, which was conducted on behalf of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, evaluated the dangers that various drugs pose to the user’s mental and physical health, as well as the harm it may cause the community, in terms of crime and health care costs.

The researchers found that heroin and crack cocaine were the most harmful drugs to the person using them, but alcohol was the most harmful to the community, and overall, when all the factors were added up, alcohol ranked as the most dangerous drug with a score of 72. By comparison, heroin, the next highest, had a score of 55, and other drugs like tobacco, cannabis and LSD scored just a fraction of that.

via Alcohol: The Most Dangerous Drug | Food & Drink | Lifestyle | Mainstreet.

Notre Dame Cathedral, history, places, Paris, France, quotes:

… walk in as tourists, walk out as pilgrims …

The history of France’s Notre Dame Cathedral – CBS News Video.

4/20, Boulder, followup:  Didn’t find the Teague boys in the pictures … Whew.  4/20 in photos | CU Independent.

places, tourist attractions, Charlotte, 2012 DNC: If this is the best we can do, we are gong to have some bored dems.

This week’s Charlotte Business Journal features two Top 25 lists: the Area’s Top Tourist Attractions and North Carolina State Parks.

via Top of the List: Tourist Attractions, State Parks | Charlotte Business Journal.

Middle East awakening, Bahrain, Royal Wedding:  Verygracious of the prince … probably best for his monarchy, too.

Bahrain’s crown prince on Sunday declined an invitation to attend Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, saying he did not want the Gulf nation’s unrest to tarnish the celebration.

Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa sent his regrets to Prince Charles after questions emerged over the British monarchy’s decision to invite a member of Bahrain’s Sunni ruling family, which has waged a wide-ranging crackdown against Shiite protesters calling for more freedoms.

Bahrain’s rulers have imposed martial law and are backed by a Saudi-led military force to try to quell the uprising. At least 30 people have died in Bahrain since mid-February, including four who died while in official custody, and many well-known activists and lawyers have been imprisoned.

The news helped to avoid a potentially awkward situation during the April 29 wedding. Campaigners in Britain complained when palace officials said Saturday that the prince was attending the nuptials, and some petitioned Foreign Secretary William Hague to revoke the invitation.

via Bahrain Crown Prince Declines Royal Wedding Invite – NYTimes.com.

random acts of violence, follow-up, Robert  Barber, FPC, obituary:  Mr. Barber was a member of FPC.  I did not know him or his wife, but his absence was felt at Easter worship today.

He and Barber were both retired colonels – a “couple of old military guys,” he said.

“We’d walk down the hallway, and I’d say, ‘You know, Bob, we’re in step,'” he said, laughing. “Old habits die hard.”

Brown and Barber were both members of the Rotary Club of Charlotte, where Brown said Barber took minutes and compiled newsletters.

“This man had not missed a Rotary meeting in 15 years,” Brown said.

He said Barber was devoted to his church, First Presbyterian in uptown, his profession and his family.

At work, Barber had a reputation as a skilled professional who could easily connect with his co-workers.

“He would work 80 hours a week if it meant turning around a community hospital,” Brown said.

Outside of work, Barber had many interests, including muscle cars, motorcycles and genealogy, Brown said.

“I think I’ve only known a couple of people in my life I’d consider Renaissance men,” Brown said. “Bob was one of them.”

via Witness heard victim’s lament after shooting | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

 art, graphic art, Maira Kalman:  Maira’s take on the British war poster …

Keep Calm And Carry On | anything goes.

Maira Kalman, art, TED videosMaira Kalman | Profile on TED.com.

art, graphic art, Maira Kalman, interview: I just like this woman …

Are there places or things you avoid because they sap your creativity?

I avoid malls. They are deadly.

via Inspiration Boards: Maira Kalman.

computer art, math, Davidson College, Tim Chartier, random:

Tim Chartier at Davidson College has discovered that if you make things out of candy there’s no lack of volunteers to help you clean up. He takes images and transforms them mathematically into arrays of candy pieces. Here you can see President Obama, as rounded to the set of m&m color values. Mathematically, the algorithm picks the available color which is closest in red-green-blue-space to the average of the pixels it replaces.

via Make: Online | Math Monday: Candy Images.

Also see Math Movement – Sugar-coated CoM&Mander-in-Chief.

01
Mar
11

3.1.2011 … Molly’s example of a reflexive verb in French … Ma mére s’est cassé le bras. :(

colleges, college search: They said that 2008 was the peak of the baby boomers’ babies … but college admissions numbers are only getting worse.

It’s nail-biting time for high-school seniors across the country as they wait to see if the fat envelope will show up. With many schools seeing a flood of applicants—Harvard expects to offer admission to a record-low 6 percent—the odds of rejection are climbing. Here’s a look at likely acceptance rates for some key groups of schools compared with five years ago, based on the number of applications received and the estimated offers available.

via Forget About Your Dream School – Newsweek.

websites,Charlotte, Billy Graham: Nice site for local history.

This web site is presented by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to exhibit the area’s local history online.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story.

Billy Graham’s Reflections of Growing Up in Mecklenburg County, NC

Reverend Billy Graham looks back at special memories of his childhood. The son of a dairy farmer, he lived near the present-day intersection of Woodlawn and Park Roads in Charlotte. After graduating from Sharon High School, he left Mecklenburg County to attend college and eventually became a world-renowned evangelist.

via The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story.

faith and spirituality, worship: A very interesting speaker will be at my childhood church.

Dr. Labberton relates in his book The Dangerous Act of Worship, “True worship includes the glory and honor due God–Father, Son, and Spirit. It also includes the enactment of God’s love and justice, mercy and kindness in the world… On the one hand, Scripture indicates that worship is meant to be the tangible embodiment of God’s hope in the world. Conversely, the Bible also teaches that the realities of oppression, poverty, and injustice can be both a call to worship and an indictment of our failure to do so.”

Dr. Labberton issues a challenge to the church: to wake up. He writes, “God longs for the church to be awake. God’s grace understands our slumber, while shaking us into wakeful action. The extreme cost of our delirium denies God what is deserved, distorts our humanity and undermines God’s mission in the world.”

via Acts of Worship in Midtown Atlanta.

green, autos: No Volt for me …

Consumer Reports offered a harsh initial review of the Chevrolet Volt, questioning whether General Motors Co.’s flagship vehicle makes economic “sense.”The extended-range plug-in electric vehicle is on the cover of the April issue — the influential magazine’s annual survey of vehicles — but the GM vehicle comes in for criticism.

“When you are looking at purely dollars and cents, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. The Volt isn’t particularly efficient as an electric vehicle and it’s not particularly good as a gas vehicle either in terms of fuel economy,” said David Champion, the senior director of Consumer Reports auto testing center at a meeting with reporters here. “This is going to be a tough sell to the average consumer.”

The magazine said in its testing in Connecticut during a harsh winter, its Volt is getting 25 to 27 miles on electric power alone.

via Consumer Reports: GM’s Volt ‘doesn’t really make a lot of sense’ | detnews.com | The Detroit News.

Academy Awards, The King’s Speech, Colin Firth, Mr.Darcy, Jane Austen, kudos: Kudos, Mr. Darcy … I mean Colin Firth.

The British actor may have received the ultimate Hollywood honour for his performance as King George VI, but he still has fond memories of his role as the aloof heart-throb in the 1995 television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Asked if his Oscar win would shake off the Mr Darcy tag at long last, Firth said: “No, I think Mr Darcy will be alive and well for the rest of my life. Mr Darcy will be put to rest when he is buried at a crossroads at midnight with a stake through his heart.

“I don’t see that happening any time soon, and actually I’d be rather sad to see him go.

“There’s a bit of a misperception that I’m disgruntled about the Darcy thing and I’m not remotely bothered by it. I would hate to see that tag leave me so I’m very happy for it to follow me around as long as people want it to do so.”

Last night was a stunning triumph for the British film charting how King George VI overcame his stammer.

via Oscars 2011: triumphant Colin Firth says he is happy to be remembered as Mr Darcy – Telegraph.

RIP, technology, changes:  When was the last time you sent or received  a postcard?  Rest in peace, postcards.

Before Twitter, before FourSquare and even before email – people used postcards to “check in to” their location. The postcard lived in easier times – in an era when we’d arrive at our destination and spend a week actually visiting things and relaxing instead of scrambling to find a Wi-Fi signal to get our email.

It has been 18 years since I last sent anyone a postcard, and I clearly remember buying a stack of cards and stamps from a souvenir shop in Blackpool, UK and copying down the addresses from my PDA. Yes – even 18 years ago, I relied on technology to keep track of my life.

The fun thing about postcards is that they lack everything current technology gives us. In most cases, the postcard wouldn’t show up till weeks after you arrived back from your destination, and they all had one thing in common – cheesy photos of cheesy tourist destinations.

Still – there was something comforting about letting your closest friends know that you were “having a great time”, even though “wish you were here” was usually a lie. In those days, your social circle was limited to ten or twenty people – not the 500 we add to Facebook nowadays.

Postcards – the original social travel network | Gadling.com.

Apple, iPad 2:

Rumors of what the new version of the iPad might look like began pretty much as soon as the original was unveiled last year. But over the last few weeks speculation has been bubbling up on blogs and news Web sites, stoked by snippets of information that has leaked out from Apple. The company has declined to provide any details before the announcement.

What Will the iPad 2 Look Like? – NYTimes.com.

Bookshelf:  Looks interesting.

The book offers some fascinating lessons on how to use the force of narrative to get stuff done and to make a difference in the world. And the pages are a veritable calvalcade of stars.  Hey, it’s Gene Simmons. Look, it’s Bill Clinton. OMG, it’s Michael Jackson!

Now Peter has offered to share — exclusively for Pink Blog readers — a short excerpt of the book about what (no joke) he learned from a tuna sandwich. .

How a tuna fish sandwich can turbocharge your career | Daniel Pink.

02
Feb
11

2.2.2011 … Punxsutawney Phil: No shadow. Early spring! … Happy Groundhog Day (a strictly secular holiday :) )… and Candlemas, too.

Groundhog Day:

Punxsutawney Phil has been prognosticating about when spring will come since the 1880s, and he’s developed quite a legend in the meantime.

via Punxsutawney Phil tweets: five little-known facts about Groundhog Day 2011 – There is only one Punxsutawney Phil – CSMonitor.com.

Punxsutawney Phil: No shadow. Early spring!

via Facebook.

 

Candlemas Day, Groundhog Day, worship:  I’ll give it to the Episcopalians for making sure I know that Groundhog Day is a “strictly a secular holiday!”

FEAST OF THE PURIFICATION OF THE VIRGIN

CANDLEMAS DAY (FEB 2)

The events commemorated today are recorded in Luke 2:22-39.

Counting forward from December 25 as Day One, we find that Day Forty is February 2. A Jewish woman is in semi-seclusion for 40 days after giving birth to a son, and accordingly it is on February 2 that we celebrate the coming of Mary and Joseph with the infant Jesus to the Temple at Jerusalem (1) to offer sacrifice on behalf of Mary to mark the end of her seclusion (see Le 12:1-8), and (2) to ransom or redeem (buy back) Jesus as a first-born male (see Ex 13:11-13; 22:29; Nu 18:15-16; Dt 15:19). As they did so, they were greeted by the aged Simeon. In a Sunday-School pageant, I once saw, the narrator said, “And now Simeon bursts into a spontaneous song of praise, assisted by the Temple Choir.” His song, called the Nunc Dimittis, has always had a prominent role in Christian worship. It has often been rendered in verse. I append one example.

Because an old reading for this festival contains the line (Zephaniah 1:12), “I will search Jerusalem with candles,” the day is also known as Candlemas, and sometimes observed with a candle-lit procession. On the other hand, Groundhog Day (“If the groundhog (or woodchuck, a kind of marmot, which burrows and hibernates) sees his shadow on 2 February, there will be six more weeks of winter.”) is strictly a secular holiday, brought to the United States and Canada by German immigrants.

via Feast of the Presentation (Purification of the Virgin Mary; Candlemas Day).

RIP, Willie B, childhood,  Atlanta: Oh, I didn’t know … One of my favorite childhood memories was going to see Willie B.  I even took my kids to see him in his new habitat in the 90s.

On this day in 2000, Willie B., Zoo Atlanta’s famous resident gorilla, passed away.

By: Atlanta History Center

CU – Boulder, students, kith/kin:  So now I know what Boulder students do after graduation!

The University of Colorado at Boulder is ranked the No. 1 school recruiting undergraduate students to serve in the Peace Corps.  According to a CU news release, 117 students are serving around the world this year.

In the CU news release, Chancellor Philip DiStefano said he is glad CU is contributing to the global community.

“I am delighted that our emphasis on civic engagement as part of the learning experience at CU-Boulder has resulted in service-oriented graduates contributing to their global community,” DiStefano said in the news release. “Service learning and civically engaged graduates are a cornerstone of our Flagship 2030 strategic plan and it is gratifying for the university community to realize that our vision is becoming a reality.”

via CU ranked No. 1 for graduates serving in the Peace Corps | CU Independent.

Super Bowl, sex trafficking, culture:  Yesterday I posted a friend’s blogpost about the feasting aspect of the Super Bowl … I guess the fans feast in other ways, too.

While football fans are eagerly anticipating the Feb. 6 Super Bowl showdown in Dallas, some state officials are gearing up for the big game’s dark side: the surge in human trafficking that tends to accompany major sports and entertainment events. “What we’ve learned is that sexual trafficking, sexual exploitation of children in particular, is all about supply and demand,” says Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. With more than 100,000 fans descending on Dallas, that demand is going to be great. There is a “looming potential explosion of human trafficking around the Super Bowl,” says Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is expecting hundreds of girls and women to be brought to the area.
Past Super Bowls have borne this out. In the wake of 2009’s game in Tampa, Florida’s Department of Children and Families took in 24 children who’d been trafficked to the city for sex work. Given that Texas, according to Abbott, is second only to California when it comes to trafficking, the figures for Dallas could be even worse.

via The Super Bowl of Sex Trafficking – Newsweek.

2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, kudos: … “beautiful, energetic, innovative and diverse city we are building”  – we have some work to do … “few singular events in the U.S. rival the domestic and worldwide media exposure of a major political convention: a presidential inauguration, a royal wedding, the Super Bowl and the Olympics.” … I am not so sure about that one …. But kudos nonetheless to my home city!

“We’re honored that the Democratic National Committee chose Charlotte to host its 2012 convention,” said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. “Thanks to the hard work and support of so many throughout our community, we have an unmatched opportunity to show the world what a beautiful, energetic, innovative and diverse city we are building in Charlotte. As we tell the story of Charlotte, and what a great place our city, state and region are to live and do business, we also will tell the story of America to our fellow citizens and our neighbors around the world.”

Duke Energy Corp. CEO Jim Rogers, who co-chairs the Charlotte In 2012 organizing committee with Mayor Foxx, added, “Charlotte’s selection clearly elevates our city to a new level in national and world stature. Only a few singular events in the U.S. rival the domestic and worldwide media exposure of a major political convention: a presidential inauguration, a royal wedding, the Super Bowl and the Olympics. The economic and reputational significance of being chosen for this honor cannot be overstated.”

via Charlotte to Host 2012 Democratic National Convention | Charlotte in 2012.

Apple, apps, lists:  A new list for me to checkout! Full List – 50 Best iPhone Apps 2011 – TIME.

Great Recession, consumers, superlatives, Wilmington NC:  Thumbs down on this one Wilmington, NC:

Where are people most addicted to their plastic? Apparently it’s Wilmington, whose residents seem to love (or maybe just need) their credit cards more than anywhere else in the country.

That’s according to data from Equifax, one of the national companies that compiles credit reports on consumers. According to a just-released study from Equifax, people in Wilmington owe an average of 17.26 percent of their income to credit cards, more than any other U.S. city. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, or maybe it’s something in the water, but the seaside haven is also the hometown of two of the three N.C.-based banks that have failed during the financial crisis.

via Wilmington tops the list for U.S. credit card debt – CharlotteObserver.com.

blogposts, quotes, Winston Churchill, C.S. Lewis, graphics: Two of my favorite blogs have great quotes by great folks this week.

“To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they must all be real.”
Winston Churchill

The Happiness Project.

-and-

quote of the week – cs lewis – my blog – Ordinary Courage.  And don’t you like her graphics!

Great Recession, Financial Meltdown, BofA:  Well I think Moynihan came out ok given the Bank’s performance.

It was a tough year for Bank of America, what with the foreclosure mess and a sagging stock price. Its chief executive, Brian T. Moynihan, nonetheless received $10 million in his first year on the job.

Mr. Moynihan will get a bonus of $9.05 million in the form of restricted stock, along with a base salary of $950,000, bringing his total pay to $10 million for 2010. In 2009, before Mr. Moynihan took over as chief executive, he received a total of $6.1 million in compensation.

Mr. Moynihan’s base salary did not go up, however, and he received no cash bonus, a reflection of Bank of America’s slow recovery from the financial crisis, when it received two bailouts from Washington totaling $45 billion. What is more, Mr. Moynihan will have to fulfill performance goals to earn the full $9.05 million.

Other top officers of the company did receive a cash bonus of $900,000, but it will be paid in monthly installments and is tied to the stock price.

“All of the year-end compensation was deferred and tied to some measure of stockholder value,” said Bob Stickler, a spokesman for the company.

via Brian Moynihan Gets $10 Million as Bank of America Chief – NYTimes.com.

icons, places, Athens GA, REM:

Wilmot Greene sat among charred remains of his iconic Georgia Theatre recalling the fire that reduced it from an alternative rock icon to rusted steel girders and walls of black bricks.

A year after an unexplained fire gutted the century-old musical cradle of bands such as R.E.M., the B-52s, Indigo Girls and Widespread Panic, Greene still kicks himself for missing Rockinwood play the last show before the fire. He says he’d missed only about 20 shows since buying the place in ’04.

via Alt-rock icon struggles to make a comeback after fire – CNN.com.

green, Great Recovery, history, recycling:  Actually recycling a town …

And that’s just the start. Sempra has big designs on being a major player in the green energy game. But as the wind whips through my hair and I study the immense emptiness all around, I can’t help but ask, “Why is this such a good location for such a thing?”

“First, there is a lot of available, flat land,” Crider says. “Second, it is incredibly sunny. This region gets about 330 days of sunshine per year. And third, there’s existing transmission lines which provide access to major markets throughout the western United States.”

Which, as is so often the case, raises another question: Why are those lines way out here?

To find that answer, you have to drive 20 minutes to struggling Boulder City, population about 16,000. The town is uniquely poised to cash in on the new energy boom precisely because it was built on old energy technology; during another time when the economy and energy collided; when thousands of jobless men came here during the Great Depression to undertake an unprecedented power-generating project.

“This town is here because it was a federal reservation to build Hoover Dam.”

via Struggling Nevada town sees sunnier times ahead – CNN.com.

globalization, poverty, social responsibility, solutions:  “Some 1.6 billion people around the world lack reliable access to electricity.”

The first decades of the 21st century will be remembered as the ones in which the world finally began to grapple with global development. The likes of Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono — TIME’s Persons of the Year in 2005 — have channeled funds to fighting malaria, TB and HIV, while supporting agriculture, infrastructure and even governance. But there’s one obstacle to development that has too often been forgotten, a blind spot that does more than almost anything to keep the poor poor: they don’t have electric power.

Some 1.6 billion people around the world lack reliable access to electricity. That means they don’t have electric lights for students to study by at night. They can’t easily charge cell phones — assuming they even have them — which means they can’t easily create markets or sell goods. Without regular power, their hospitals are severely limited — after all, you can’t even keep vaccines cold without a refrigerator. Agriculture is essentially peasantry if farmers lack powered machinery. As long as those hundreds of millions remain in the dark, they will remain poor — yet solving energy poverty isn’t even one of the U.N.’s ambitious Millennium Development Goals.

via Clean Energy: How It Can Help Light Up the Developing World – TIME.

art, google street view, art galleries:  I still would rather travel there, but I think this is a great idea. YouTube – Art Project – Preview.

Now that Google has conquered a majority of the earth’s major streets with its Google Street View project, the company is starting to move inside. It’s  creating the Google Art Project, a virtual equivalent of 17 major art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Britain and the National Gallery in London, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, among many others.

via Google Takes Street View Into Art Museums – NYTimes.com.

Egypt Uprising, titles: “The Last Pharoah” …

Hosni Mubarak: The Last Pharaoh – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Egypt Uprising, media, twitter:

With Egypt’s last remaining internet service provider taken offline, the country’s citizens have resorted to old school telephone technology to establish limited connections to the outside world.

Several internet service providers outside of Egypt have established dial-up phone numbers that can be used for pokey-yet-usable connections like the ones that have slowly died out in many developed countries as broadband internet becomes more prevalent and less expensive.

And Google and Twitter teamed up to build a speak-to-tweet service that allows people inside Egypt to call one of three international phone numbers and leave a voicemail that’ll be transcribed and sent out over Twitter. The messages themselves can be heard at the Speak To Tweet Twitter page.

via Egyptians Sidestep Internet Blackouts with Landline Phones – Techland – TIME.com.

Egypt Uprising – getting out, students:

Hilliard said that although classes at the American University have not begun, four students are currently in Cairo awaiting the start of their semester. Three students will be leaving Cairo, while one is still deciding.

“We expect three of those students will return home within the next 24-36 hours, and to be in a safe location in Europe within the next 12-24 hours,” Hilliard said. “The fourth student is thinking over the option of staying or going, and has not made the decision yet.”

via CU-Boulder’s Study Abroad Program in Cairo cancelled | CU Independent.

Egypt Uprising – victims:

Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa has been missing in Egypt since last week, according to multiple news outlets.

Wael Ghonim, who has headed the company’s marketing in the region since January 2010 , has not been seen for several days as protests continue to swell in Egypt, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times reports that Ghonim was a guest speaker at an Al Jazeera forum in Januray and that the news agency had been contacted by Ghonim’s family and friends.

“His wife is appealing for any information on his whereabouts,” said an Al Jazeera blog post on its English website.

Google declined to confirm to the Times if Ghonim was in fact missing. A spokeswoman told the newspaper: “We care deeply about the safety of our employees, but to protect their privacy, we don’t comment on the individually.”

via Google Exec Reported Missing in Egypt – World Watch – CBS News.

csr, Egypt Uprising – getting out:

Coca-Cola Co. closed its Cairo office starting Sunday. The office “will not reopen until security in the city improves,’’ said Kenth Kaerhoeg, a spokesman for the big beverage business in Atlanta.  “The safety of our employees is our primary concern and we are taking all necessary measures to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Mr. Kaerhoeg declined to offer any details about possible evacuations or the exact number of Coke staffers in Egypt.  An Egyptian bottler operating as its local franchisee owns eight bottling plants there.

Egyptian operations of food giant Nestle SA “have been temporarily interrupted due to ongoing political unrest across the country,’’ said Nina Backes, a spokeswoman for the owner of brands such as KitKat, Gerber baby food and Nescafe coffee.  “The company is currently evacuating the families of around 20 expatriates,’’ she added.

Ms. Backes said its three Egyptian factories “have temporarily been shut down.’’  She declined to say how family members are being evacuated – nor whether Nestle might also evacuate expatriates.  “We continue to monitor the situation closely,’’ she added.

Nestle’s Egypt unit has three factories  and 3,000 employees.  It began factory operations there in 1988.  Nestle, based in Vevey, Switzerland,  is the world’s largest food company by sales.

Unrest in Egypt also is affecting U.S. companies without permanent offices there. An Occidental Petroleum Corp. spokesman said ten professionals on a temporary Egyptian assignment cut short their stay and left Cairo Sunday on chartered aircraft arranged by the company without difficulty. “They left sooner than anticipated,’’ he continued.

He declined to disclose why the Oxy Pete staffers went to Egypt several weeks ago.  “There was no definitive time frame” for their abbreviated business trip, the spokesman said.

via Coke, Nestle Report Egypt Shutdowns – Dispatch – WSJ.

Egypt Uprising – impact, Syria, Middle East:

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad may face mass protests this weekend from opposition groups.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Syrian opposition groups are organizing protests against the government
The calls are the latest call for demonstrations in the wake of Tunisian protests
Those protests helped topple the Tunisian government and spark widespread unrest in Egypt
(CNN) — What began as a popular uprising that toppled the Tunisian government before spreading into Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan and, of course, Egypt, may now be headed for Syria.
Opposition movements in Syria are calling for mass protests on Saturday against the rule of President Bashar Al-Assad.
The groups are organizing on Facebook, with several pages promoting protests in Damascus, Aleppo and other cities.
Protest organizers want better living standards, human rights improvements and a greater voice for youth, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington-based organization that studies and translates news accounts and social-media postings.

It’s unclear how many people might join the protests. A few thousand people had expressed their support for the movement on the Facebook pages, some of them undoubtedly from outside the country, the research institute said.

via Unrest in North Africa and Middle East may spread to Syria – CNN.com.

Egypt Uprising  – “Youthquake”, new terms:

It’s 11:30 on Tuesday morning and the dusty office space around Adil is buzzing with the idealism of two-dozen young professionals, many of them juggling four cell phones at once. They’re lawyers, accountants and web designers. They wear jeans and flip flops, colorful headscarves, and the black and white checkered keffiyahs associated with the Palestinian intifadeh. Today they are among the country’s core activists who shoulder the responsibility for the largest Egyptian uprising in more than 50 years.

Welcome to the nerve center of the Arab world’s latest rebels. The 6th of April is one of several youth activist groups who have helped to bring the nearly three decade regime of President Hosni Mubarak to its knees. It was formed in the wake of a massive labor strike on the 6th of April 2008, becoming since then the group that made Egyptians under 30 a force to be reckoned with.

via Egypt’s Youthquake: At a Nerve Center of the Revolution – TIME.

art, Davidson, Davidson College, Herb Jackson, art galleries, NYC, kudos: Kudos to Herb Jackson!

Riding the Phoenix by Herb Jackson

Riding the Phoenix by Herb Jackson

In case you have your snow boots ready and are traveling to NYC, be sure to plan your trip for mid-February to catch Herb Jackson’s art exhibit at the Claire Oliver Gallery on 513 West 26th Street (just off 10th Avenue).  The opening will be Thursday, Feb. 17, from 6-8 p.m. at the gallery.  For a digital preview of Herb’s paintings, access http://www.claireoliver.com and select the heading “upcoming” before clicking on his exhibition.  Congratulations, Herb, on your continued artistic success.

via Rabbi and fiancee’s love story makes a Times Sq. billboard | DavidsonNews.net.

health, obesity, fad diets:  Another new fad diet?

For more than 25 years, De Vany has been an advocate of what he calls “evolutionary fitness”: a regimen of low-carb eating and interval- or cross-training workouts (with periodic fasting) aimed at controlling insulin. But he has also become the grandfather of the growing Paleo movement, a health philosophy built around the belief that modern life — dating from the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago — is simply alien to our genes. Believers say that only by returning to a diet of wild game and fresh produce, eliminating grains and dairy, and exercising in short, intense bursts, can we thrive in a world of escalators and cheese fries.

via Paleo Diet: ‘New Evolution Diet’ Author De Vany on Food and Exercise – TIME.

media, twitter:  I follow quite a few magazines and newspapers on twitter (where do you think I get my clips?), so I am very disappointed that the most followed is People magazine.

There are eight magazine brands with more than a million followers, and 14 with more than half a million, while the newspaper industry has just two: the New York Times (2,882,697) and Wall Street Journal (618,751). Inspired by a survey done by The Wrap last fall, we decided to take an updated look at the magazines with the most Twitter followers.

The following list of most followed magazines was culled at the end of January (follower counts were taken on Jan. 31). For about 50 titles, the follower counts were compared to a similar count conducted in October, to see how their counts grew over the last three months. Among the top 25, Rolling Stone (#25) and The New Yorker (#14) both grew about 30 percent in terms of followers, while the Economist (26 percent) was not too far behind.

via The Most-Followed Magazines on Twitter – emedia and Technology @ FolioMag.com.

health, obesity: You would think we could solve this one …

Obesity drugs are dead. Orexigen Therapeutics(OREX_) is done. Arena Pharmaceuticals(ARNA_) is a corpse. Vivus(VVUS_) is in an irreversible coma, waiting for someone to pull the plug.

The only silver lining from Tuesday’s outright and devastating rejection of Orexigen’s obesity drug Contrave is that investors need not waste time or money any longer speculating on which of these three companies will be the first to get their drug approved. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made it crystal clear that it has serious problems with the entire obesity drug field and that none of these drugs — Contrave, lorcaserin or Qnexa — have weight-loss benefits that justify the safety risks.

via Obesity Drugs: The Road to Perdition – TheStreet.




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