Posts Tagged ‘Yahoo! News

18
Feb
14

2.18.14 … salt and sochi … It was a dark and stormy night …

salt, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:

A senior adviser to the Sochi Olympics convened an emergency meeting late last week with top winter sports officials at the Park Inn hotel in the Alpine village here.

A situation had grown dire. It was not security, attendance or doping that was the problem. It was salt.

Four months earlier, Hans Pieren, one of the world’s leading experts on salt and snow, had told Sochi officials that the Alpine skiing events required more than 19 tons of salt, a crucial ingredient for melting soft snow so it can refreeze into a hard surface.

But the organizers did not listen, to their great regret. Now, with 10 days of competition remaining, many of the Games’ signature events were in jeopardy of being compromised, and even canceled.

Tim Gayda, a Canadian consultant who is a senior adviser to the Sochi organizers, called the meeting Thursday night, according to some people who were there. He told the group that the strongest kind of salt, the large-grain variety, was simply not available in Russia. Mr. Gayda asked the group an urgent question: Does anyone know how we can get 25 tons of salt — tonight?

via A Mad Dash for Salt Rescues Olympic Slopes – NYTimes.com.

Rachel Ries, Urban-Rural Split,  Ghost of a Gardener, NPR:  Really good NPR segment from Sunday.

Sometimes you need to get away from the thing you love. NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to singer Rachel Ries about her new album, Ghost of a Gardener, which she produced after taking a couple years off from music.

via Rachel Ries’ Album Reflects Her Urban-Rural Split : NPR.

via ▶ Rachel Ries ‘Mercy’ – YouTube.

Humans of New York,  Susie’s Senior Dogs:  Loved this …

I’ve got to tell you guys about all the amazing things happening over at Susie’s Senior Dogs. So we started this page on a whim last week, for the purpose of placing old dogs in new homes. (And by we, I mean 95% my girlfriend, and 5% me– let’s be honest.) Nearly 100,000 people “liked” the page in 24 hours.

We’ve posted about 11 dogs so far, and 6 of them have been adopted– from all over the country. It’s just been an incredible success. Almost all of these dogs were ten years or older, and many of them had been in shelters for a long time. Check out these pictures of the pups in their new homes. Remember, these guys were sleeping in cages just last week.

From Left to Right: Nina (13), Fancy (12), and Max (10).

A Wrinkle in Time, favorites:  A Wrinkle in Time was a favorite book of my early reading life. Truly started me on my love of reading path.

Photo: Happy 52nd anniversary to the beloved Mighty Girl classic A Wrinkle in Time! Madeleine L'Engle’s 1962 Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novel about the adventures in space and time of Meg Murray, her brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin has been capturing the imaginations of young readers for generations. In recent years, the novel has also appeared in new forms including a wonderful graphic novel adaptation and on a t-shirt for teen and adult fans. </p><br /> <p>To learn more about the original novel, recommended for ages 9 and up, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time</p><br /> <p>To check out the graphic novel adaptation, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time-the-graphic-novel</p><br /> <p>To view Out of Print's t-shirt for teens and adults featuring artwork from the novel's first edition 1962 cover, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time-t-shirt </p><br /> <p>And, to view the 5-book box set of The Wrinkle In Time Quintet, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/the-wrinkle-in-time-quintet-box-set

“It was a dark and stormy night.

In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind. Behind the trees clouds scudded frantically across the sky. Every few moments the moon ripped through them, creating wraithlike shadows that raced along the ground.”

Happy 52nd anniversary to the beloved Mighty Girl classic A Wrinkle in Time! Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novel about the adventures in space and time of Meg Murray, her brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin has been capturing the imaginations of young readers for generations. In recent years, the novel has also appeared in new forms including a wonderful graphic novel adaptation and on a t-shirt for teen and adult fans.

To learn more about the original novel, recommended for ages 9 and up, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time

Winnie-the-Pooh, favorites:  And another favorite …

“And then, all of a sudden, Winnie-the-Pooh stopped again, and licked the tip of his nose in a cooling manner, for he was feeling more hot and anxious than ever in his life before.”

On February 13, 1924, Punch magazine published a short poem titled “Teddy Bear” by Alan Alexander Milne, one of the magazine’s editors and a frequent contributor. The poem, inspired by the stuffed teddy bear so dearly beloved by Milne’s four-year-old son Christopher Robin, was included in Milne’s collection of children’s verses, When We Were Very Young, illustrated by Punch staff cartoonist E. H. Shepard and published later that year. But the bear’s very first appearance in Punch was the birth of Winnie-the-Pooh, which Milne released two years later and which went on to become one of the most timeless children’s books ever written.

In the summer of 1929, the Dominion Gramophone Company set out to capture prominent British authors reading from their work. In this rare recording, Milne reads the third chapter of his classic, “In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle,” made all the more delightful by his enchantingly melodic voice — please enjoy:

https://soundcloud.com/brainpicker/a-a-milne-reads-from-winnie-the-pooh

via Happy Birthday, Winnie-the-Pooh: A Rare 1929 Recording of A.A. Milne Reading from His Beloved Book | Brain Pickings.

 Buckhead’s  Beltline,  Path400, Parks & Recreation, Curbed Atlanta, multi-use trail:  Another multi-use trail!

DSC_0442-thumb.JPG

Great news for multi-use trail zealots: The first phase of PATH400, a Beltlineian trail that will wend for 5.2 miles through Buckhead parallel to Ga. 400, is set to break ground Feb. 17. Officials are hoping the path will lend Buckhead the same sense of interconnectedness the Beltline’s Eastside Trail has provided neighborhoods east of downtown and Midtown. “PATH400 will be a tremendous asset,” Jim Durrett, executive director of Buckhead CID, said in a press release. “Our community will enjoy new pedestrian access to schools and the local business district, opportunities for outdoor recreation and a greater sense of connectedness. It’s a wise investment for Buckhead.” PATH400’s first phase will be a half-mile stretch from Lenox Road at Tower Place up to Old Ivy Road. Extensions could soon follow.

via Buckhead’s Answer To Beltline Will Break Ground This Month – Parks & Recreation – Curbed Atlanta.

Worth your time …, Molly Wilmer Barker:  Loved this post!

With the recent drug overdose of Philip Seymour, comes up (again) the age-old conversation about whether addition and abuse of drugs and alcohol is the result of a disease or just a really bad habit to overcome…I’ve got a thought that is somewhat unrelated to either, but perhaps worth considering.

Addicts and Alcoholics, with a few years of good, grounded sobriety under their belt, are some of the absolute coolest people on the planet. They have an outlook that carries with it a good dose of humility. Many have been to the depths of their own darkest despair and, through a variety of ways, climbed out, up, through or over, whatever beliefs, obstacles, brain chemistry that bound them to a behavior that dimmed the bold, light-filled people they really are.

The addicts and alcoholics I know…who live daily expressing the humility and gratitude their recovery brings…are also some of the most creative souls on the planet.

One in four people are affected by addiction…either in their own lives or in the lives of their loved ones, co-workers, acquaintances.

Today, rather than debate the best route to recovery/treatment, I will hold those still suffering…in this space…a gentle reminder that even in the darkest moments, there is hope.

via Molly Wilmer Barker.

 “Le Tricorne”, Picasso: Tapestry travesty.

Most people agree that the fate of “Le Tricorne” rests squarely in Mr. Rosen’s hands. The interior of the Four Seasons was given landmark designation in 1989, canonizing the achievements of Mies van der Rohe, the architect who designed the 38-story skyscraper, and Philip Johnson, who designed the restaurant, the costliest ever constructed when it opened in 1959. The Picasso, however, was excluded from the designation because, as the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission explained in a statement, it was owned separately and could be moved.

via At Four Seasons, Picasso Tapestry Hangs on the Edge of Eviction – NYTimes.com.

Stephen Curry,  Bay Area Warriors, Davidson College, CharlotteObserver.com:

Marsten said it’s telling that every Warriors fan seems to know Curry went to Davidson, the small, academically elite college north of Charlotte.

“He’s very proud of his roots, very proud of Davidson. Warriors fans understand about that,” Marsten said. “If you asked them where (Warriors forward) David Lee played, I don’t know that they’d know. And he won two national championships at Florida.”

This works because it’s not an “image.” It’s who Dell and Sonya Curry raised their three kids to be.

via Stephen Curry loves the Bay Area and the Bay Area sure loves him back | CharlotteObserver.com.

Europe’s 12 most impressive metro stations, lists, CNN.com:  Very fun!

But as the following stations show, more than 150 years after the London Underground opened, there\’s a lot more to a great subway stop than getting from A to B.

via Europe’s 12 most impressive metro stations – CNN.com.

Passing on body hatred, Essential Mums:  A good lesson …

But all of that changed when, one night, we were dressed up for a party and you said to me, ”Look at you, so thin, beautiful and lovely. And look at me, fat, ugly and horrible.”

At first I didn’t understand what you meant.

”You’re not fat,” I said earnestly and innocently, and you replied, ”Yes I am, darling. I’ve always been fat; even as a child.”

In the days that followed I had some painful revelations that have shaped my whole life. I learned that:

1. You must be fat because mothers don’t lie.

2. Fat is ugly and horrible.

3. When I grow up I’ll look like you and therefore I will be fat, ugly and horrible too.

Years later, I looked back on this conversation and the hundreds that followed and cursed you for feeling so unattractive, insecure and unworthy. Because, as my first and most influential role model, you taught me to believe the same thing about myself.

via Passing on body hatred | Essential Mums.

Paris,  Metro Makeovers for the Abandoned Stations of Paris,  Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy Chic:  Very cool!

Anyone who wants to make a swimming pool out of an abandoned metro station neglected for 75 years, has definitely got my attention. The ghosts of the Parisian underground could soon be resurrected if city voters play their cards right in the upcoming mayoral elections. Promising candidate, Nathalie Koziuscot-Morizet, who would become the first female to ever hold the post in the capital, has released the first sketches of her plans to reclaim the city of light’s abandoned stations.

via Metro Makeovers for the Abandoned Stations of Paris | Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy

GI Joe, Yahoo News, kith/kin: I always liked to play with my brother’s dolls … and now they are 50. Makes me feel old.

The birthday of what’s called the world’s first action figure is being celebrated this month by collectors and the toy maker that introduced it just before the nation plunged into the quagmire that would become the Vietnam War — a storm it seems to have weathered pretty well.

Since Hasbro brought it to the world’s attention at the annual toy fair in New York City in early 1964, G.I. Joe has undergone many changes, some the result of shifts in public sentiment for military-themed toys, others dictated by the marketplace.

via GI Joe, the world’s first action figure, turns 50 – Yahoo News.

Nathan Edmondson, alphacomics, @nathanedmondson: I love being able to claim a connection to a graphic artist writer … Second cousin once removed.

Embedded image permalink

Written by @nathanedmondson both Black Widow and Punisher are new tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/OZ2zsKvYEI

via Twitter / alphacomics: Written by @nathanedmondson ….

Future of Transportation, The Atlantic Cities:  world without car ownership …

If connected vehicle technology becomes mandatory in American cars, as the Department of Transportation recently suggested it might, the most obvious benefit would be safety. Cars that can tell other cars their speed and position are far less likely to crash. But as David Zax pointed out at Cities earlier this week, that’s just the beginning. Combine connected vehicle technology with intelligent infrastructure and driverless cars and you get a commute that’s both quicker and hands-free. You could even rely on autonomous taxis to chauffeur you from home to work.

In that sense, a world without car crashes may just be the first step to a world without car-ownership.

via Imagine: A World Where Nobody Owns Their Own Car – Eric Jaffe – The Atlantic Cities.

google doodles, Harriet Tubman

Musée Nissim de Camondo,  Letter From France | How to Visit Some of Paris’s Finest Museums but Skip the Crowds: Donna Morris took us to Musée Nissim de Camondo … opened up a whole world of interesting historical research!

Richard Harbus for The New York Times

The Musée Nissim de Camondo boasts one of the great collections of 18th-century decorative arts.

It also holds a tragic story. When Camondo died in 1935, he left his mansion and collections to France’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs. His only condition was that the house be turned into a museum and named after his son, Nissim, who died as a combat pilot for France in World War I.

The family felt protected when the Nazis occupied France. A marble plaque at the entrance to the house states otherwise. It announces that Camondo’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren, his last descendants, were deported by the Germans between 1943 and 1944. They died at Auschwitz.

The French government kept its word, turning the house into a museum and naming it after Camondo’s son.

via Letter From France | How to Visit Some of Paris’s Finest Museums but Skip the Crowds.

Martin Luther, history:  Today is the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther.  He was one interesting guy.  Among other things, he introduced congregational singing of hymns …

Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483. His intellectual abilities were evident early, and his father planned a career for him in law. Luther’s real interest lay elsewhere, however, and in 1505 he entered the local Augustinian monastery. He was ordained a priest April 3, 1507.

In October 1512 Luther received his doctorate in theology, and shortly afterward he was installed as a professor of biblical studies at the University of Wittenberg. His lectures on the Bible were popular, and within a few years he made the university a center for biblical humanism. As a result of his theological and biblical studies he called into question the practice of selling indulgences. On the eve of All Saints’ Day, October 31, 1517, he posted on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg the notice of an academic debate on indulgences, listing 95 theses for discussion. As the effects of the theses became evident, the Pope called upon the Augustinian order to discipline their member. After a series of meetings, political maneuvers, and attempts at reconciliation, Luther, at a meeting with the papal legate in 1518, refused to recant.

Luther was excommunicated on January 3, 1521. The Emperor Charles V summoned him to the meeting of the Imperial Diet at Worms. There Luther resisted all efforts to make him recant, insisting that he had to be proved in error on the basis of Scripture. The Diet passed an edict calling for the arrest of Luther. Luther’s own prince, the Elector Frederick of Saxony, however, had him spirited away and placed for safekeeping in his castle, the Wartburg.

Here Luther translated the New Testament into German and began the translation of the Old Testament. He then turned his attention to the organization of worship and education. He introduced congregational singing of hymns, composing many himself, and issued model orders of services. He published his large and small catechisms for instruction in the faith. During the years from 1522 to his death, Luther wrote a prodigious quantity of books, letters, sermons and tracts. Luther died on February 18, 1546.

via February 18: Martin Luther, Theologian, 1546 | Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music.

05
Aug
13

8.5.13 … Ansel Adams on YouTube: What an amazing artist! … Edison Mazda Lamp … random … 1600 Pennsylvania on Zillow … in light of Detroit … Carry In-Carry Out… 6″ mini me … weird twitter …

Ansel Adams, YouTube:  What an amazing artist!

Ansel Adams Reveals His Creative Process in 1958 Documentary

in Art, Film, Photography | February 20th, 2013 2 Comments

Today marks what would be the 111th birthday of Ansel Adams, the American photographer who captured the sublime power of the wilderness, taking iconic images of the American West, most notably in Yosemite Valley. (See photo gallery here.) Original footage documenting the creative life of Ansel Adams is surprisingly hard to come by online. So A/V Geeks and Develop Tube did us all a favor when they revived this 1958 documentary revealing Adams’ technical approach to photography, the cameras and related gear he carried to the field, and his thoughts on the artistic horizons of photography.

Ansel Adams, Photographer (1958) is available at YouTube and Archive.org. It will now appear in the Documentary section of our collection of 500 Free Movies Online.

via Ansel Adams Reveals His Creative Process in 1958 Documentary | Open Culture. 

The Fox Theatre Atlanta, Edison Mazda Lamp: Why “Mazda” lamp? “The name Mazda has nothing to do with today’s popular car maker. Instead, it refers to Ahura Mazda. Mazda is an ancient God of an Iranian religion known as Zoroastrianism. His name means “Lord of Light and Wisdom.”

The Fox Theatre Atlanta

June 26

An amazing piece of Thomas Edison history was recently discovered within the walls of the Fox Theatre. This light bulb, or electric lamp as they were once called, is an “Edison Mazda” lamp.

Even though decades have passed since these kinds of bulbs could be purchased, it still looks much like the light bulbs we use today.

In 1909, General Electric began using the trademarked and registered name, Mazda, for its incandescent light bulbs. The name Mazda has nothing to do with today’s popular car maker. Instead, it refers to Ahura Mazda. Mazda is an ancient God of an Iranian religion known as Zoroastrianism. His name means “Lord of Light and Wisdom.”

For more information on historic theatre restoration please visit http://www.foxtheatreinstitute.org/

via The Fox Theatre Atlanta.

random:

It just occurred to me that I have clothes hanging in my closet that are “vintage.”

President Obama, housing questions,  1600 Pennsylvania, Zillow roundtable, Yahoo! News:  Love this Zillow entry for 1600 Pennsylvania.

Zillow Zestimate for the White House

President Barack Obama lives in a 16-bedroom, 35-bathroom single-family home that would cost nearly $320 million if it were for sale, according to online home-buying site Zillow.com. (Spoiler: It’s not.)

Still, Zillow’s tens of millions of monthly users will be able to settle in Wednesday for an interview with the president — a virtual roundtable focused on housing policy, part of his drive to retake the initiative on economic issues.

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff will moderate the event, using questions submitted through a range of social media with the hashtag #AskObamaHousing. Zillow will be looking for especially frequent questions, as well as queries that housing experts think are timely. The White House will not get the questions in advance.

via Obama to take your housing questions in Zillow roundtable – Yahoo! News.

cities , city survival, cities that thrive, Zero Hedge, Detroit:  In light of Detroit …

I doubt that anyone in 1968 predicted Detroit would lose most of its industrial base and half its population over the next 40 years (1970 – 2010). Such a forecast was beyond even the most prescient futurist.

Four decades is not that long a time period, and our inability to predict large-scale trends over that time frame reveals intrinsic limitations in forecasting.

Nonetheless, the dramatic decline of Detroit and other industrial cities makes me wonder if there are dynamics that we can identify that could enable us to predict which cities will thrive and which will decay.

Here is my semi-random list of potentially decisive urban dynamics:

1. Since most people live in cities, global trends that appear abstract from 40,000 feet manifest in cities.

2. Single-industry cities are highly vulnerable to disruption if that one industry declines.

3. Cities that are dependent on highly centralized institutions and industries are more vulnerable to disruption that cities with a broad base of smaller, decentralized employers and sectors.

4. Cities that depend on highly centralized employers attract people seeking to become employees; cities that are not dominated by centralized organizations but foster rapidly growing decentralized sectors are more likely to attract entrepreneurial talent and capital.

5. The cities’ primary industries must pull in profits and capital from the nation and world.

6. Highly centralized industries with rigid hierarchies, local political control and vertical supply chains do not foster the same entrepreneurial spirit and ecosystem as decentralized, fragmented industries that are still open financially and politically to competition and cooperation.

7. Rigidly controlled, centralized dominant political and financial organizations cannot foster the complex ecosystem of innovators and risk-takers that generate new wealth.

8. The Ratchet Effect is key: it is easy to expand payrolls, land area, benefits and pensions as the tax base and tax revenues expand; it is essentially politically impossible to shrink payrolls, benefits and pensions as the tax base shrinks and tax revenues decline.

9. Cities with dynamic ecosystems of mobile knowledge workers, innovators, risk-takers and mobile capital will tend to attract these same wealth creators from less dynamic and opportunistic cities and towns, in effect poaching the most potentially productive people and capital from 2nd tier and 3rd tier cities.

Here is a relevant quote from the above article on the poaching of capital and human capital by major cities:

As metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou become black holes for resources, medium and small-sized cites have encountered difficulties in their development. “The most frustrating part about Tianjin [an industrial city an hour southeast of Beijing] is that we don’t own the resources that commonly exist in first-tier cities – good resources are all taken by Beijing.”

10. Cities that offer cost-effective good governance are attractive to non-elite productive people; cities that skim wealth via corruption and do not provide efficient services offer disincentives to productive people who have a choice of where they live.

11. Wealth is not just the financial wealth of the residents or the tax revenues generated by the tax base. Social and human capital, and the networks that enable flows of information, talent and capital are critical types of capital. We can adapt Bob Dylan’s line here: “Those cities not busy being born are busy dying.”

12. Cities are ultimately constructed not just of infrastructure and political policy but of incentives and disincentives and individuals who respond to those inputs. In this view, the infrastructure of transit, parks, libraries, etc. and non-material policies and cultural-economic zeitgeist create the incentives and disincentives that people respond to.

Cities that offer incentives–most importantly, a healthy ecosystem of like-minded people–to innovators, risk-takers and mobile capital to fund new enterprises will generate a self-reinforcing feedback loop that attracts more productive people and wealth. Those cities that centralize cartels and political elites who naturally suppress competition as a threat to their control are vulnerable to systemic decay as the disincentives to the most productive overwhelm the self-liquidating incentives of rigid, sclerotic, centralized hierarchies.

The one thing we can safely predict is that technological and social innovations will continue to arise and disrupt the Status Quo. If cities are like ecosystems, then we can see that cities that are static monocultures are much more prone to decay and collapse than cities that encourage a complex wealth of competing and cooperating enterprises and networks.

Perhaps these dynamics apply not just to cities but to entire nations.

via Guest Post: Which Cities Will Survive/Thrive? | Zero Hedge.

National Park Visitors, Carry In-Carry Out, WSJ.com:

There are 55 fewer trash cans at one national park in D.C. as park rangers ask visitors to carry out their own garbage. http://on.wsj.com/13Aonau

The idea behind project ‘Carry In-Carry Out’ is to free up the park service’s trash haulers to pursue beautification projects, such as flower planting.

Do you think the park’s priority should be beautification or maintenance? Are you willing to carry out your trash?

National Park Service chief groundskeeper Anthony Migliaccio piloted his utility vehicle down the George Washington Memorial Parkway, surveying the good, the bad and the ugly in the government’s new effort to get visitors to do something that doesn’t come naturally: haul away their own garbage.

Along the parkway’s main stem—a lush, tree-lined Virginia roadway that runs from George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate to the forests of Turkey Run Park—there are now 55 fewer garbage cans. In their place are signs informing people that they are now expected to tote away their half-eaten hot dogs, soiled paper plates, crushed soda cans and the like.

With the Iwo Jima statue in the background, a sign at the Marine Corps Memorial explains Trash Free Parks, with complimentary bags.

The idea behind project Carry In-Carry Out, explained Mr. Migliaccio, is to free up the park service’s trash haulers to pursue more noble beautification projects, such as flower planting.

But training the masses to stuff their own refuse back into their cars, purses and strollers is causing something of a stink.

On a recent day, one lonely can in a busy park overflowed with visitors’ refuse. Meanwhile, a nearby dispenser of free plastic trash bags—each printed with a plea for folks to retain their own waste—remained full.

via National-Park Visitors Are Asked to Take Their Trash With Them – WSJ.com.

3-D Printed Version of Yourself, mini me, Wired Design | Wired.com: I’m with you, FB friend  … one of me is probably quite sufficient … But still wondering what I would do with a 6″ mini me …

Using the latest in 360-degree scanning and 3-D printing technologies, Twinkind, a new company based in Hamburg, Germany, will turn you, your loved ones, or your pets into a marvelously detailed little statues. It might seem a bit gimmicky if the results weren’t so stunning. The final figurines, which can range in size from roughly 6″ (around $300) to 13″ (around $1,700), are strikingly, maybe even a little unsettlingly realistic, capturing everything from poses and facial expressions down to hair styles and the folds in clothes, all in full, faithful color.

via For $300, You Can Buy a Stunning 3-D Printed Version of Yourself | Wired Design | Wired.com.

Twitter Inc., Weird Twitter, The Daily Dot: weird …

In what you’d have to call a journalistic coup for any news service, The Wall Street Journal has, at long last, gotten Twitter Inc. to comment on the heady subculture known as Weird Twitter.

Weird Twitter, for the uninitiated, refers to a loose confederation of Twitter users who use the social network as a platform for experimental verbiage: satire, poetry, collage, the absurd—all are included. In its push for an eclectic and overdeveloped aestheticism, it resembles a 21st-century branch of Dada.

Simply put, Weird Twitter is pushing the envelope in ways that do not necessarily align with Twitter’s best financial interests. Take the whole sponsored posts angle, for instance: that’s the type of corporate leaching that brings out the quiet anarchist in some people. As the WSJ explains:

Ryan Woodsmall, a 34-year-old information-technology worker in St. Louis., hates promoted tweets. When he notices one from, say, Wal-Mart or Bank of America, in his feed, he will reply to the tweet or retweet it after editing the tweet to insert misspelled words or other flourishes that he hopes will reflect poorly on the brand. He also does this because he hopes it will drive up the cost of advertising for the brand.

“It’s just fractions of pennies and it’s juvenile, but it’s still satisfying,” says Mr. Woodsmall.

That satisfaction may not have much basis in reality, however. According to Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser, the company has an algorithm in place to ensure advertisers never pay for “insincere” engagement—meaning cubicle warriors like Woodsmall would have to get more creative in their disruptions.

That’s not the part that hurts most about Prosser’s comments, however. In the article, he also framed Weird Twitter’s protests, attitude, and policy of self-selection as “the eternal battle people have over hipsterdom.” Ouch. Meanwhile, another employee, John Manoogian III, defended Weird Twitter as “just regular people trying to reclaim the platform with ironic, meta-humor.”

Hard to know which comment Weird Twitter would be more offended by.

via The Daily Dot – Twitter Inc. finally comments on Weird Twitter.

21
Feb
13

2.21.13 … labyrinthine evolution … “with its sinful eleven tracks” … sounds mysterious …

labyrinths, history, labyrinthine evolution, Loyola University Chicago: “with its sinful eleven tracks” … sounds mysterious … and why have a chosen this as my Lenten Practice two years in a row?

Simply put, eleven was seen as a stigmatized number from the time of Saint Augustine of Hippo and throughout much of the Middle Ages because it signified the fallen nature of humanity.  Eleven was perceived as equating to sin and dissonance with God, being one more than the Commandments yet one short of the Apostles.  Eleven, like humanity, was flawed.[3]  Despite this corrupted number, the enlarged labyrinths were geometrically perfect.  During the Middle Ages the cosmos, as a product of God, was seen as being without flaw and as such the circle symbolized divine unity for it has no beginning nor end.[4]

Having been enlarged to become perfectly circular, there was still one more significant alteration to labyrinths which made them entirely Christian, and that was the superimposition of the Cross.[5]  Around the year 900 CE, an otherwise nameless monk probably from the Benedictine monastery of Auxerre, ingeniously placed the cross within the confines of the labyrinth.[6]  He accomplished this by dividing the full circles into halves and quarters.

With its sinful eleven tracks and the incorporation of the Cross, the labyrinth in Western Europe not only looked Christian, but became truly Christian, symbolizing important aspects of the faith.[9]   When the labyrinth was finally put back into stone, the two regions which would build them most extensively would be found in Northern France and Northern and Central Italy. Click on either to find examples from each country!

via labyrinthine evolution: Loyola University Chicago.

pomegranates: Love pomegranates!

.

via Uses of pomegranates

ailurophobia, The Cat-Hater’s Handbook, Tomi Ungerer, Brain Pickings:

I learned a new word … and I found two used copies, one for each of my favorite ailurophes!

An ailurophobe’s delight circa 1982

via The Cat-Hater’s Handbook: A Subversive Vintage Gem Illustrated by Tomi Ungerer | Brain Pickings.

Paula Broadwell, CharlotteObserver.com, local news:  Because I can drive by her house, I really hate this story … I feel sorry for her children and husband.  I feel sorry for her … Human beings do such stupid things.

Paula Broadwell’s promotion in the Army Reserves has been revoked by military officials because of the investigation into whether she might have been storing classified information at her Charlotte home without permission, according to a report Thursday by CNN.

Broadwell became a national figure last year after her affair with David Petraeus, director of the CIA and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, became public. Broadwell, 40, had co-authored a book on Petraeus.

CNN’s story says an unnamed military official said Broadwell’s promotion from major to lieutenant colonel, which had been approved last August, has been revoked until the investigation has been completed.

via Paula Broadwell’s promotion revoked, CNN says | CharlotteObserver.com.

MINI Backflip [Landed], YouTube:  I find myself holding my breath … even though I know the mini made it …

The French champion skier and stuntman Guerlain Chicherit took the death-defying backflip challenge and nailed it in the hills of Tignes, France. The Mini Countryman John Cooper Works SUV was modified enough to make the flip and land without falling apart. This is the first time a backflip such as this has been pulled off. 360 degrees in anything that heavy is a tall task. There is less of a chance I can do this myself,  jumping off a diving board.

via MINI Backflip [Landed] | Guerlain Chicherit | The Crosby Press – BETA

Wray Herbert,  order, disorder, chaos, creativity, good, evil:  God created the world out of chaos … so can we …

Vohs wanted first off to explore the effects of order and disorder on socially desirable behaviors, so in the first experiment she looked at healthy eating and charitable giving. These are both things that, by common agreement, are good. She recruited volunteers and, unknown to them, had some work in a tidy room and the others in a messy space. They filled out questionnaires that weren’t really relevant to the study, and afterward were given the opportunity to donate privately to charity — specifically, to help pay for toys and books that would be given to children. Then, as they were departing, they were offered the choice of an apple or chocolate.

The results were unambiguous. Those who had been working in an orderly workspace were more generous. Not only were they more likely to donate anything to the kids, collectively they donated more than twice as much money to the charity. They were also more likely to make the healthy food choice.

The results confirmed what Vohs had predicted. As described in a forthcoming article in the journal Psychological Science, the volunteers who worked in the untidy room were much more creative overall, and they also produced more “highly creative” ideas. In other words, they were more likely to break away from tradition, order and convention in their thinking. In a third study, those in a messy environment were more likely to select an option labeled “new” over one labeled “classic” — further supporting the link between order and tradition, disorder and novel thinking.

Taken together, these findings challenge the well-entrenched view of order and disorder as too simplistic. It’s misleading to conclude that messiness promotes wild, harmful and morally suspect behavior, or that order leads to honesty and goodness. A more nuanced view would add that disorder also inspires breaking from tradition, which can lead to fresh insight, and that order is linked to playing it safe. Vohs concludes with the example of Albert Einstein, who famously quipped: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

via Wray Herbert: What a Mess: Chaos and Creativity.

U.S. Postal Service, clothing line, TIME.com:  It worries me that I know some folks that might actually buy and wear this …:)

Postal service workers may stop delivering first-class mail on Saturdays, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have style. Soon everyone will be able to dress like a postal worker seven days a week.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that it is launching a clothing and accessory line called “Rain Heat & Snow,” due out in department and specialty stores nationwide in 2014. According to a news release, the name is meant to signify resilience — inspired by the agency’s unofficial motto “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

via U.S. Postal Service to Launch Clothing Line | TIME.com.

kith/kin, restaurants,  Atlanta, Yahoo! News:  Reading this list is like walking down memory lane … with my dad.  I’ve actually never been to Greenwood … but I will add it to my list … all the others I have regularly frequented during my lifetime …

The Colonnade

1879 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta

As you might have guessed, Colonnade is best known for its Southern dishes. That means fried chicken, beef ribs, and chicken-fried steak. Then we hit the sides, and there are about 30 of them each day. From apple sauce to mac and cheese, and it wouldn’t be a Southern favorite if it didn’t have that staple, fried okra.

As is tradition in the South, a basket of yeast rolls and cornbread muffins comes with your meal. Also a tradition, the servers are well-trained and attentive, and the atmosphere is relaxing and positive.

The Varsity

61 North Ave., Atlanta

It’s nothing fancy, and part of the building standing today is the original structure. The food is addicting in a good sort of way. Naked dogs, burgers, onion rings, and frosted oranges — the menu is pretty simple, but nerve-racking when it comes time to make that decision.

“We are what we are,” said Gordon Muir, whose grandfather, Frank Gordy, opened the restaurant after going to school at nearby Georgia Tech. “The food hasn’t changed.”

Mary Mac’s Tea Room

224 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta

Mary Mac’s Tea Room represents the “old guard” of Atlanta’s restaurants, and they do it well. …

Like The Varsity, Mary Mac’s is one of those “must eat” places when in Atlanta. Unlike The Varsity, Mary Mac’s offers comfort food with fresh cooked vegetables, and that includes the likes of picked beets and something called pot liquor, which apparently is the droppings from all the cooking going on in the kitchen. The servers will bring you some so you can dip your cornbread or muffin in for a special treat.

At Mary Mac’s, there is a pencil on every table, and you fill out your own order. Is that tradition in the South?

Greenwood’s Restaurant

1087 Green St., Roswell

“Greenwood’s was doing farm-to-table before farm-to-table was cool,” stated Melissa Libby of the popular Atlanta blog Atlanta Dish.

via A Look at Some of the Oldest Restaurants Around Atlanta – Yahoo! News

President Obama, media, the liberal press, technology, POLITICO.com:  Just thought this an interesting read …

President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.

Not for the reason that conservatives suspect: namely, that a liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated. Instead, the mastery mostly flows from a White House that has taken old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting). And it’s an equal opportunity strategy: Media across the ideological spectrum are left scrambling for access.

The results are transformational. With more technology, and fewer resources at many media companies, the balance of power between the White House and press has tipped unmistakably toward the government. This is an arguably dangerous development, and one that the Obama White House — fluent in digital media and no fan of the mainstream press — has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly. And future presidents from both parties will undoubtedly copy and expand on this approach.

via Behind the Curtain: Obama, the puppet master – POLITICO.com.

Obamacare layoffs:  I saw a nasty post on FB where an employer fired employees who had voted for Obama …

Firing workers based on political affiliation may land employers in hot water. “It’s possible that employees could have some protection under various laws that exist,” said Risa Lieberwitz, professor of labor and employment law at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Federal law offers fines and imprisonment for anyone who “intimidates, threatens, coerces” someone “for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose.”

In the weeks leading up to the election, several employers sent notices to workers urging them to vote for Romney, or warning of potential problems if Obama won. Courts would have to determine whether such letters constitute “intimidation.” The Supreme Court specifically protected employers’ rights to distribute political information to workers in its Citizens United decision.

Retaliation for a vote may not qualify as intimidation. But employers who fire workers or cut their hours based on their vote could face additional legal threats from a few state and local laws, which specifically ban retaliating against employees based on their voting preferences.

via Obamacare Layoffs: Georgia Businessman Claims He Fired Workers Because Obama Won.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, law blogging, blawging:  Enjoyed this session … don’t like the term “blawging” …

Law Blogging in the 21st Century

Tamar R. Birckhead, Associate Professor of Law, UNC School of Law

You are an expert in your field and you’d like to start a legal blog. this session will explore how to use social media to establish your presence in the blogosphere.

Festival of Legal Learning.

kitchen islands, design, WSJ.com:  thinking about my next kitchen …

[D]

Once-concealed preliminaries to a formal dinner, food prep and cooking are now the main event. It’s part of the fun for guests to mingle around the hostess-chef and help out. In this context, the island becomes “a stage where you perform cooking in front of your friends,” says Elizabeth C. Cromley, author of “The Food Axis: Cooking, Eating and the Architecture of American Houses.”

“I call it the lighthouse,” says Joseph Tralongo, lead designer at Leeds Custom Design, in West Palm Beach, Fla. “When someone walks into the kitchen, they immediately gravitate towards leaning or touching or putting their stuff on the island. It’s like a law of nature.” And the island is a design element that helps balance interior space—especially in a big, open home. “It keeps everything in scale,” Mr. Tralongo says.

via Kitchen Islands Get More Built-In Appliances, Storage and Features – WSJ.com.

 




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